Ashley Kay Jackson Memorial 5K - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Ashley Kay Jackson Memorial 5K

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ZEIGLER -- Over a hundred runners showed up to honor the life of a local teen. 

Ashley Kay Jackson was just shy of her 15th birthday  when an accidental gunshot ended her life. 

Now, 6 years later, her memory lives on. Ashley's aunt, BJ Newbury, says shes proud of her community.

"A lot of times after several years, things begin to fade but the 5K has just kept up and growing and growing. we've actually gained momentum the last couple years." Newbury said. 

A momentum that has allowed the group to reward over 20 thousand dollars in scholarship funds starting in 2013. . 

"And finally 2016, which was Ashley's graduating class we wanted to make it really special, so we offered it to the entire class." Newbury said. 

The race is funded solely by donations and all the proceeds go to the scholarship fund. But Newbury says the race does something rare for the town. 

"Just bringing the community together, because it doesn't happen a lot and we are a small community so its really important for us to stay strong." Newbury said. 

Recipients of the scholarships must be full time students holding an average of C or better. 

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