5K run honors 6-year-old known for big heart
MONROE — April 14 promises to be a day of making meaning out of tragedy at a 5K run and walk in memory of 6-year-old Kaci Edelbrock.
Dad Boyd Edelbrock describes Kaci as someone who “loved her friends and family more than anyone I know.”
Curious, spunky and athletic fit their little angel too.
The 6-year-old kindergartener and her grandmother Lois Edelbrock died from a calamitous RV accident as the family traveled home from a camping trip Sept. 3. The crash injured several others in the RV.
In the void of Kaci’s loss, family and friends were inspired to fund a memorial scholarship to help a Monroe High School student attend college.
The inaugural 5K is only one of several efforts including concerts and sporting events in Kaci’s honor.
The family has created the “Big Heart Big Smile” foundation to channel all
Boyd Edelbrock says the phrase suits his daughter perfectly.
Edelbrock says the goal is to fund a scholarship at least every year until Kaci, a Chain Lake kindergartener, would have graduated.
“She was really in to sports, and she had a little savings account, so (first) we sponsored a Boys & Girls Club basketball team” and a “Sky Valley Little League team,” Edelbrock said.
“We got the idea that we wanted to do more, but we didn’t know what,” Edelbrock said.
The oldest Edelbrock son, 16-year-old Lane, was the catalyst for the answer as three family friends from his baseball team stepped forward with plans for a 5K.
“Kaci was true joy! The moment this little (one) arrived she oozed happiness. Her big brothers doted on her and she was everyone’s little sister,” said co-organizer Emily Miller. She says shortly after the accident, she “couldn’t get Kaci’s sweet face out of my head ... I also couldn’t stop crying.” Miller thought a run would help. It was that run, and realizing how races bring communities together that inspired the event.
Edelbrock says he wants to extend the giving to Snohomish as well, where the Edelbrocks have family and have found lots of support, too.
“Kaci loved backpacks, so we’re trying to figure a way to do backpacks” for school kids, he said. “We’re definite-ly motivated with Kaci driving us.”
The Edelbrocks are mending physical and spiritual wounds after the devastating accident. Kaci’s brothers Lane and brother Kody, 14, needed several weeks to heal, and their grandpa is still in a wheelchair.
But they find solace in church, each other, the community and the everlasting memory of the little girl who has inspired so much
The inaugural Kaci
Edelbrock Memorial 5k Run/Walk is Sunday, April 14 at Lake Tye Park, 14964 Fryelands Blvd, in Monroe. The race registration fee is $30.
For more information on the 5k and the foundation, go to www.facebook.com/bigheartbigsmile
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