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SALT LAKE CITY — On June 20 of this year, three women were killed in a boating accident at Lake Powell.
One of the victims was 29-year-old Utah resident Valerie Rae Bradshaw.
Although Bradshaw's life was short, family and friends say it was filled with service and compassion toward others. As one of nine children, aunt to 28 nieces and nephews and friend to many more, there was no shortage of people whom Bradshaw could love and serve.
According to Bradshaw's friends and family, her influence didn't stop there, extending to hundreds, perhaps thousands of individuals. With many opportunities to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — a full-time mission to Milan, Italy, another at the Salt Lake Temple, as well as other missionary callings in her ward — Bradshaw's influence, or “Rae of light,” as friends have called it, spanned the globe, touching countless lives.
Friends and family want to continue spreading her light throughout the world, so they've organized a 5K in her honor.
“We hope to honor Val and her legacy of unforgettable service and spread the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with a hope that we may all become better people and make our influences felt as did Valerie Rae Bradshaw," the family said in a statement.
The 5K, which family and friends named “Rae of Light 5K,” will be held Saturday, Sept. 28, at 9 a.m. at Sugarhouse Park. The family hopes to raise $10,000, with all the proceeds and donations being given to the General Missionary Fund of the LDS Church.
- When: Saturday, Sept. 28 at 9 a.m.
- Where: Sugarhouse Park
- Why: Raise money for the General Missionary Fund
“We hope you will also want to be involved in helping to make the world a better place and the people who live in this world, a better people," said Bradshaw's parents, Vic and Viki Bradshaw. "These missionaries go throughout the world and teach the importance of family, of honesty, of integrity, of self-sufficiency, of kindness, of generosity and every other positive character trait you can think of. We believe that even if you are not a member of the LDS Church, you may still want to participate in such a worthwhile cause.”
The family continued, “Because the event was widely publicized by the media, KSL, Deseret News and BYU will also be covering the event. We would love families and businesses to be involved in turning such a tragic story into something so positive. Our hope is that Rae of Light 5K will become the first and largest community missionary 5K fundraiser.”
To register for the 5K, donate,* or sponsor the event, go to http://www.raeoflight5k.com/.
Arianne Brown is a mother of five who loves running the beautiful trails around Utah. For more articles by Brown, "like" her FB page (https://www.facebook.com/WriterArianneBrown), go to her blog at timetofititin.com or follow on Twitter @arimom5.