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Thousands turn out for 'Joggin 4 Joughin' 5K

It was an emotional but joyous day for the Fulton County Community that hosted the "Joggin 4 Joughin" 5K race that worked to raised funds for the Sierah Joughin Memorial Scholarship Fund.

METAMORA, OH (WTOL) - It was an emotional but joyous day for the Fulton County Community that hosted the "Joggin 4 Joughin" 5K race Sunday that worked to raised funds for the Sierah Joughin Memorial Scholarship Fund.

With more than 1,600 people in attendance, the family was overwhelmed by the community's support.

"I knew our community was supportive, but did I ever think it was this supportive or that they would carry me in my time of need? No, and it's been awesome," said Sheila Vaculik, Joughin's mom. "Every day is a struggle and there are days that it's hard to get out of bed, but we're going to get through this."

Nicole Kinsmen, who organized the race, went to Evergreen High School with Joughin, but never met her or her family.

"This community just binds together like no place on earth. I'm just so happy and proud to be a part of something so great,"  Kinsmen said. Dave's Running helped to create the course and organize the start and finish line.

Kinsmen approached Vaculik weeks ago to ask her permission to create the race that encouraged people to not live in fear of walking, running and biking- all the things Joughin loved to do – and to continue to do what brings them joy.

"This is our home and these people are here for me in every way shape or form. They've done things for me that I couldn't even think of when this was all going on. They just stepped up and they did it. They weren't asked to do it, they just did it and I love them for it," Vaculik said.

Joughin used to partake in 5K races herself, so the family said this event was particularly fitting.

"Her smile was what lit up our life and to see that her smile today is lighting up everybody's life, it's just amazing," said Tara Ice, Joughin's aunt.

Vaculik admits that this has been the hardest time in her life, but is trying hard to stay strong for the rest of her family and kids.

"You can't let evil win and I refuse to," she said. "Sierah is giving me the strength."

People can still donate to Sierah Joughin Memorial Scholarship Fund at Farmers and Merchants Banks in the area under the account name "Joggin 4 Joughin" or contribute online here.