"Smiles 4 Miles" 5K remembers Notre Dame academy student

Sunday afternoon hundreds of people rallied behind a local family who lost a loved one over a year ago.

 

Maria Schaffstein was killed in April 2010 in a car accident on her way home from spring break.

 

On Sunday more than 700 people packed the streets of Park Hills for the second annual " Smiles 4 Miles " 5K walk and run in honor of the Notre Dame academy student.

 

"It's a reminder about who Maria was and what a wonderful person she was," said Andy Kennedy, an event volunteer.

 

All the money raised will benefit St. Agnes in Fort Wright, Kentucky, where Maria attended grade school.

 

"Twenty percent goes to scholarships for eighth graders going on to catholic high school," Kennedy explained.  "Twenty percent goes to our booster capital project, twenty percent goes to improvements around the school; teacher wish list kind of things, and forty percent goes to anonymous financial aid for families in need of help with tuition."

 

Maria's family said the overwhelming support from the community helps them to keep going after the tragic death of their young daughter.

 

"Our family has realized that this is our story and we're going to make the best of it," explained Maria's father, John Schaffstein.  "I think that's what's indicative about what's going on here.  These are the things that make us  be able to stand up and move forward."

 

The 5K marks what would have been Maria's 19th birthday.

 

If you would like to donate to this cause go to www.smiles4maria.com .

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