Kamloops woman plans festive fundraiser in memory of brother

By Jill Sperling
December 1, 2017 - 4:07pm Updated: December 1, 2017 - 10:31pm

KAMLOOPS — In 1999 a 10-year-old Kamloops boy was struck and killed in a hit and run crash while riding his bicycle in Dallas. 

The driver of the motor home that hit Brennan Comazzetto was charged but never convicted of drunk driving. 

The incident was devastating for the Comazzetto family, including Brennan's younger sister Payton, who witnessed the crash. 

18 years later, Payton is hosting a run in her brother's memory. 

"I have just wanted to keep his memory alive, and his love for Christmas alive," Payton said. "I had the opportunity to do this event, and it fit."

The event is called Brennan's Ugly Sweater Run, and it is inspired by the precious memories Payton has of her brother. 

"We would always watch Home Alone together, the house would be decorated, we did a lot around Christmas," she said. "I was looking at some photos one day, and I saw the outfits my mom used to dress us in for Christmas, and then when the idea was approached, actually Jo Berry was like, 'oh, we should do an ugly sweater run,' I was like, 'that fits perfectly.'"

Run Club founder Jo Berry says she thinks of Payton as a "spirit daughter," and she's excited to see her explore healing through Sunday's run. 

"Payton's journey has been so heart-felt," Berry said. "I can relate to it on so many levels, and to watch this amazing young woman explore her own healing and connect the dots between moving outdoors and our mental and physical health. That's what she's been studying, and we wanted to bring an event to celebrate her brother Brennan."

Payton has carried the painful memory of Brennan's death from a young age. 

"Him and I were really close growing up, I might have been four years younger, but we did absolutely everything together," she said. "I definitely kind of always felt lonely once he was gone, and I definitely had lots of flashbacks, and trouble with PTSD after that, so it's been a work in progress to get through that."

Not wanting to dwell on her personal tragedy, Payton is using the run as an opportunity to raise money for The Boys and Girls Club. 

"The focus behind the run is mostly for the Boys and Girls Club Power Start program. They provide breakfasts for kids, they actually go out and pick them up, and bring them to school to have breakfast so that they get to school and have something to eat."

Payton hopes to raise around $3,000 for the cause.

The 5 km run is scheduled for 10 a.m. Sunday at Rainbow's Roost in Westsyde. 

There is a minimum $10 cash donation for individual participants, and $35 for a family of four.

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