5K Honors 6-Year-Old Sandy Hook Victim

By Abbey Niezgoda
|  Saturday, Mar 22, 2014  |  Updated 11:59 AM PDT
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5K Honors 6-Year-Old Sandy Hook Victim

NBCConnecticut.com

More than 1,000 runners took part in a 5K in honor of James Mattioli, a 6-year-old killed in the tragedy at Sandy Hook

They were running to remember in Milford, Conn., on Saturday.

More than 1,000 runners took part in a 5K to honor James Mattioli, a 6-year-old killed in the tragedy at Sandy Hook, and the money the runners raised went to a playground built in his memory.

The Sandy Ground Project: Where Angels Play Foundation is working to build a playground in honor of each of the 26 victims. The one for Mattioli in Milford is the 17th one they have completed.

“It’s unbelievable,” said organizer Ron Wetmore. “We do it for the families and we thank the families for letting us do it for them.”

There were plenty of people in the crowd who were affected by the tragedy. They say the playgrounds are a way of helping them heal.

“They were all together when this happened, and I like to believe that in heaven they’re all together so I feel like as a family, as a community of 26 victims, that we need to stick together,” said Jillian Soto, whose sister, Vicki, was killed at Sandy Hook.

Several fundraisers have been held to cover the costs of the playgrounds.

The playground for Mattioli costs roughly $70,000, and with the help of Sandy Ground 5K runners, the Sandy Ground Project has raised more than enough money.

They plan on giving the extra funds to the next playground the foundation is building in Mystic.

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