Updated: 07/21/2013 8:30 AM KSTP.com By: Katherine Johnson
More than a thousand participated Saturday in a 5K race in River Falls - raising $48,216 to honor three girls who were murdered by their father.
The Tri-Angels Fun Run at Hoffman Park had 1,250 participants and raising $48,216, said organizers.
Summers spent at Hoffman Park in River Falls, Wis. are at the heart of Jessica Schaffhausen's favorite memories - the mother of Amara, Sophie and Cecilia Schaffhausen. They died a year ago.
"We would walk from the house all the way down past this park to the library and back through again," she said.
"They've just helped us keep going in a positive manner," said the girls' grandmother, Becky Stotz.
"It's just home. Everywhere I go," Jessica said of the River Falls community.
Nearly everyone at the race was connected to the girls. Tonya Maier taught Amara in fourth grade.
"It's been a difficult year for everybody but we have a strong community and it's just nice and important to be together at this time," said Maier.
Hoffman Park is where Sophie met for Girl Scouts. Amara played soccer just across the street.
"I spent hours watching them swing on the swing sets here and play on the playground here," said their mother.
So it's only fitting the money raised at the race goes to a new playground in their honor. The location hasn't been finalized, but it will have a specific section dedicated to each sister and be accessible to children with special needs.
"I think it's really important that we build this playground to honor the girls and bring happiness and peace, maybe, to people who are still in grief," said race organizer Hannah Bellrichard.
"I wouldn't give up living here for anything," said Schaffhausen.
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