On December 14th, 2012, Naperville resident Toni Hockley received a phone call she would never forget.
Her six-year-old nephew, Dylan Hockley, was a victim in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. One of the 20 children and six staff members killed that day.
In remembrance of him, she ran with others in the Sandy Hook 5k Run for the Families at the Danada Forest Preserve in Wheaton.
“I’m just happy to do something and I’m so touched that so many people have so much love for this and everyone wants to be involved and do something,” said Hockley.
Dylan, who was autistic, would have turned seven years old a few weeks ago. Toni sported his favorite color, purple, and shared one of her favorite memories of him.
“One day he was flapping like autistic children very often do and his mom asked him, ‘Dillon why are you flapping your arms?’ Dillon didn’t talk very much but he just looked at her and said “Mom, I’m flapping my arms because I’m a beautiful butterfly. So I’m wearing my beautiful butterfly necklace for Dillon today,” she said.
The run took place at the exact date and time of the 5K held in Hartford, CT.
A group of Naperville moms organized the event to represent Illinois alongside more than 15 states across the nation who held events for the same cause.
“To think that you drop your kids off at school and they’re not safe really bothered me and I wanted to do more than just send prayers and donations,” said Peggy Wainscott, one of the event organizers.
Every dollar will be sent to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, a motion important to the runner who came in first, Mike Rudolph.
“There was no winner, everyone is a winner. I thought it was great that the organizers said that my donation would go directly to Sandy Hook and they would take care of the rest,” Rudolph said.
The group raised about $1,500 for the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.
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