A year after a drunken driver killed Maureen Mengelt while she was out for a run, the Sun Prairie community rallied behind her family and friends.
Running to raise money for youth sports and music programs, around 700 people put on their tennis shoes in Maureen's honor for the second annual Maureen Mengelt Memorial 5K.
"My children were into many different sports and music activities here in Sun Prairie," said Maureen's husband Kevin Mengelt. "And after Maureen was killed, those communities just surrounded our family with love. I think it's the least we can do, is try to pay back the kindness and generosity everyone's shown us."
Kevin Mengelt would have been married to Maureen 22 years last Friday. He describes his wife as someone who loved children and loved to run.
"She had stacks of t-shirts from runs that she had done that just filled the closet," Kevin said. "So events like this were something that she very much looked forward to."
Monday's race comes less than two weeks after a plea deal was reached in the case again the driver who killed Maureen last spring. Bruce Burnside pleaded guilty to second degree reckless homicide. The other felony charges against him were dropped.
"I'm not pleased with the plea deal, I fought it as much as I felt I could," Kevin said. "Since that day, I've essentially poured my life into organizing this event. It gives us something to focus on that's positive, after a very disappointing episode in our lives."
It also gives those who knew the mom of three the chance to share some of their fondest memories of her. Catherine Sesing first met Maureen nearly 30 years ago.
"I was going to school in Madison and I met Maureen on the Greyhound bus," Sesing said. "She was a very friendly person. And we got into conversation right away, we started running together."
"We lost a lot when we lost Maureen," Kevin said. "Seeing [the supporters] just shows me how many people she came to touch in her life."
Burnside, a former area bishop, is expected to be sentenced later this summer.