Fall River sisters hold run to honor bomb victims
Two young sisters from Fall River just couldn't sit still after hearing about the explosions at the Boston Marathon on Monday.
So they took action, organizing an impromptu run walk at Battleship Cove to give local runners a way to cope and express their condolences to the victims and their families.
It only took about 24 hours for a Fall River School Department occupational therapist and her sister, a Providence College student, to pull off a successful run/walk event on Wednesday night.
About 450 people, some old, some young, and some pushing baby carriages attended the event in the picturesque Battleship Cove in Fall River.
The runners and walkers wanted to honor and show support for the victims of Monday's deadly Boston Marathon explosions.
She said, "It was my sister's idea to bring this all together. I'm a marketing major, so I really helped push for it. I got in touch with our mayor, and I got a lot of local radio stations to call back," Kayla Andrade told NBC 10.
"I definitely think there are many people, especially in the city of Fall River, that wanted to come together and show support, to show Boston that we do care, that our hearts are broken for a lot of those people," said Kayla's sister, Vanessa Andrade DeSousa.
And once the word got out, the sisters realized that the response to their idea for a run/walk along the waterfront was overwhelming.
"It really just hit home for us, you know? We wanted to bring the community together. We did not expect all these people to come out, I am like shaking, and I'm shocked. I feel so blessed, it's crazy," Kayla told NBC 10.
The runners said they were just grateful to have 'a way' to show support for the numerous blast victims.
"I just think it's a great show of support for Boston to say that like, we hear them, we're supporting them and like, we're praying for them to get through this. And we're just all coming together to say that," said 18-year-old Victoria Oliveira.
The vice president of the Fall River City Council was impressed with Kayla and Vanessa's initiative.
"It's so spiriting for me as a city councilor to see this organized by the future, but the future generation who hopefully are going to do great things in this city. It's just heartwarming for me to see the outpouring of support and for the tragedy that happened in Boston, I guess I'm humbled," said Bradford Kilby.
DeSousa said, "It was a senseless tragedy, and unfortunately lives were lost, and we can't get those people back, but we can show that we do care, and we are here for any support we can give. There are still many great people in this world, and this proved it today it's very refreshing to see."
Their mother told NBC 10 that one of the main reasons her girls were so passionate about holding this event, is that their own father lost his leg in an accident that involved a falling tree when he was just 17-years-old.
The proud mother said with so many of the Boston Marathon victims requiring limb amputations from the blast, the pair wanted to go out of their way to 'give back.'