Colorful outfits, bright sneakers and a big crowd, only a few of the many things found at the 7th annual Laura's March. The march is named after Laura Winterbottom, a 31-year old who was abducted, raped and murdered in 2005 by a Burlington man.
"It's a grief that never goes away. There's no closure for something like this. But on the other hand helping other people really helps," said Laura's father, Ned Winterbottom. More than 200 runners and walkers took to the pavement Saturday morning in honor of Laura's legacy and to support organizations that are working to stop sexual violence.
"I think it's very important for our whole community to understand the impact that sexual violence has and violence of all types in our community," explained Sally Borden, executive director of KidSafe Collaborative.
"I think to be able to come together and fight against violence against women. It's a big important thing and to do something like this and send that message I think is very important," said runner Sandra Seda. Members of Winterbottom's dentist office also made the trip from New York to represent the family and their cause.
"What they're doing and the wonderful things they're doing can help other people going through the same thing," said runner, Hope Brady.
Winterbottom's father says beyond the harsh reality of sexual violence cases like Laura's, you can choose to find a silver lining. In their case, saving lives from facing tragedy. "I'm always fond to talk about Laura as a child of light and what I've learned out of this is it is dark, awful dark. But there's always light somewhere and you try to bring it the best you can," said Ned Winterbottom, "it's a loss not only for us but for the community and the world. And one of the things we focus on is it's our obligation to take that portion of Laura's life that was never lived and try to bring it forward and bring it to fruition."
A life cut far too short, but a message that will continue to spread.