KAMLOOPS — It's a bit ugly, but it's for a beautiful cause.
The second annual Brennan's Ugly Sweater run takes place this weekend, a charity event with a special meaning for Payton Comazzetto.
"Last year I was doing a Service Learning Course at TRU, and I didn't feel challenged with the volunteer opportunity that I had so I asked if I could put on an event," Comazzetto said. "I got the OK, and I decided to put it on in memory of my brother."
Comazzetto's brother, Brennan, was only 10 years old when he was struck and killed by a driver while riding his bike. The driver of the motorhome that hit Brennan was charged but never convicted of drunk driving.
Payton, who was six at the time, was there when it happened.
"It was a very difficult experience to go through to witness it. And then, everything I went through after, I really struggled with post traumatic stress and that sort of thing, and my family really struggled with it as well."
Payton found healing through physical activity, joining Run Club in 2016.
"That was kind of a way out for me, it was great to just kind of start exercising, and physically getting things out."
It was a natural fit to combine her love of running and Brennan's love of Christmas into the 5k walk or run that raises money for the Boys and Girls Club Power Start Program.
"All proceeds are going to the Boys and Girls Club Power Start Program, which is a breakfast program for at-risk youth," Comazzetto said. "Approximately 130 kids are using that program right now in Kamloops."
Last year's event raised more than $7,500 for the program, and the goal is to meet or exceed that amount this Sunday.
The run will take place at the West Highlands Community Centre, starting at the soccer fields at 10:00 a.m.
People are encouraged to attend the Ugly Sweater Run in their most festive attire.
"Ugliest Christmas sweater, best Christmas outfit, whatever it is, there's prizes for those as well," Comazzetto said. "We want you to just be festive, have fun with it, bring your family, it's the cheapest event in town, $10 per person or $35 for a family of four or more."
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