Charity run for local fallen officer takes on deeper meaning after Dallas shooting

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ELYRIA - It has been more than 6 years since Elyria police officer James Kerstetter was killed in the line of duty. 

And a local annual charity run is taking on a much deeper meaning following the deaths of 5 police officers in Dallas.

Flags are flying at half staff outside of the Elyria Police Department in honor of the deceased officers; while inside, organizers are preparing for an event remembering Officer Kerstetter, who was killed in the line of duty on March 15, 2010 in an ambush-style attack.

He left behind a wife, three daughters, parents and siblings who were determined to carry on his legacy of giving.

Every summer, hundreds gather for the Kerstetter 5k Run & Family Fun Walk which raises money for a scholarship fund in Jim’s name.

More than 900 are expected to participate in the event which will start with a moment of silence at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Molly Streator says the fact that it’s falling on July 9 is especially significant to friends and family.

“We do it this time of year in July every year because it falls near Jim’s birthday,” said Molly, “This year is exciting because it falls on his 50th Birthday.”

However, Molly admits everyone is also feeling more emotional about the run after the tragic situation in Dallas. They hope that people attending will leave feeling uplifted and unified-- something, she says, Jim would’ve wanted.

“Jim represented positive community relations and that’s what we all need to work towards,” said Molly.

You can still sign up before the run and walk at 7 a.m.

CLICK HERE for more information about the Kerstetter 5K.

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