By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor
DANVILLE – More than 360 people signed up to participate in Sunday afternoon’s 1st annual Officer 373 Run 5k/1 mile walk in memory of DPD Officer Tom Cottrell. Ever since Cottrell was fatally shot in the line of duty January 17th supporters have held events to raise funds to honor his memory.
These two young runners (who got away before we could get their names) participated in the Officer 373 Walk/Run in Danville – KP Photo by Marty Trese
Sunday’s event was organized by Carrie Gaumer’s 4-H Club “Dream Catchers” because they wanted to do something for the community. The funds generated by the race/walk and a silent auction held will go to a fund established with The Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County. Once $5,000 is reached it will self-generate forever. Officer Cottrell’s life partner Tanya Elliott thanked everyone involved and spoke about him following the 5k/1 mile walk in the DHS gym.
Elliott said Officer Cottrell was “son, brother, father, uncle, coach, officer, friend and my soulmate. He always had a smile for anyone he came across. He was an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on.”
She said the first annual run was a huge success and she looks forward to it for many years to come.
The money raised for this first run will be given to the Danville Police Department in the name of Officer Cottrell to use as the DPD sees fit. Each year Cottrell’s family will decide which organization will receive the funds.
DPD Chief Dan Weckesser was on hand for the event. He said the turnout was “pretty amazing.”
One of the runners in the 5k was Patrol Sgt. Casey Adams of the Groveport PD. He said participating was his way of honoring Officer Cottrell. He said his chief had Cottrell as a student at COTC in Newark.
“I’ve always liked to support the officers who have fallen in the line of duty,” said Sgt. Adams.
Those unable to make the event Sunday but would like to contribute can send checks to the Officer 373 fund at the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County, 1 S. Main Street, Mount Vernon, OH 43050.