Knox Countians showed their support for the 4th Annual J & J 5K Remembrance Glow Run in Barbourville on Saturday evening, April 13.
Friends and family came together at the Court Square to remember the lives of Jathan Patterson and Jayla Phipps who passed away at the young age of 13.
As each participant stood at the starting line, they wore tye dye t-shirts with the printed message: “Leave footprints of love and kindness wherever you go.”
Jathan’s Mother, Virgie York, explained: “Jathan did that. I want all to remember that about him and that is something we all need to strive to do. Leave footprints of love and kindness wherever we go.”
126 people participated in the J & J 5K race while others were on the sidelines, honoring the lives of Jayla and Jathan as well as cheering on the runners.
”It’s just great to know our friends and family have donated or registered because it’s like, they’re remembering the lives of these kids along with us.” York said.“Sometimes it’s even hard to speak their name, but yet you want to know people remember and that they are not forgotten.”
All proceeds from the participant entry fee contributed to the J & J Scholarship Fund which is awarded to a college student each year. This year, the winner of the $5,000 scholarship was Knox Central Senior Jacob Lindsay.
At the conclusion of the race, friends and family of the two students made their way to the Knox County Middle School football field where the annual lighting of the memorial lanterns took place.
Each family received a memory lantern to light and release in memory of Jayla and Jathan.
“I’m thankful for my community who has continued to faithfully support the Jathan & Jayla scholarship fund by registering for the 5k,” York said. “Our families, friends, and local businesses always support us by donating money, no matter the amount or items for us to use. And It means so much to me to know that people will remember Jathan and Jayla.”