Petit Road Race - Videos

Updated: Monday, 18 Jul 2011, 10:36 AM EDT
Published : Sunday, 17 Jul 2011, 2:52 PM EDT

                                 Erin Cox

Plainville, Conn. (WTNH) - The anniversary of the Cheshire home invasion killing is six days away, but this race helps focus on the positive.

The GE Raod Race is a fundraiser for thr Petit Family Foundation. It's a 5K race and a 1.5 mile fitness walk. Kids participate in a 400-meter fun run. The kids race for fun, the adult runners seem to keep in mind that each step is in memory of a family lost.

"It's always sad but I think the first time was like really, really sad, like devastation," volunteer Maureen Heslin said, "and now it's more like turning over to the positive side."

It was July 23, 2007, when Jennifer Hawke Petit, and daughters Hayley and Michela were killed in the Cheshire home invasion. Husband and father Dr William Petit survived.

He always shows up to this event getting handshakes, hugs, saying seeing volunteers reminds him the community still cares. 

Dr William Petit, the survivor, said, "Just being there for someone else if you have a friend that is hurt and in trouble sometimes all you have to do is be there so I thought about that these people represent the presence of the greater community."

Each year John St Pierre of Saints in Plainville fires up the grill, donations for dogs, going to the Petit Family Foundation, which awards scholarships and funds programs helping those with chronic illness.

He also says the atmosphere has evolved from sadness to community spirit. The anniversary of the event understood, but raising money the focus.