Hundreds run in final Katie DeCubellis Memorial 5K in Narragansett
By John Krinjak
NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WLNE) -- For the last time, hundreds of runners pounded the pavement in Narragansett for the Katie DeCubellis Memorial 5K.
"Just to be able to honor Katie's memory and help her live on is awesome," said first-place finisher Nicolas Musumeci.
Katie's life was cut short at the age of 13 by a drunk driver back in 1999. Her parents started this race the following year.
"Katie was the type of person who went out of her way to reach out to everybody//so what we've tried to instill is reaching out to the community, trying to make something positive come out of her death," said Katie's dad John DeCubellis.
Many of those finishing this race weren't even born when this tragedy happened, but Katie's family members say that's just a testament to who she was, and the power of this race in keeping her memory alive.
The serious message behind the race is not lost on these young runners.
"We learned that you shouldn't be drunk driving. It's very tragic," said Austin Byer, a student at the Scott School in Warwick.
For Katie's parents, who thank each runner personally, seeing a new generation touched by Katie's legacy is what it's all about.
"When children run through the race and their parents tell them why the race goes on, that's how her legacy lives on," said Katie's mom Meg DeCubellis.
The 5K has now raised enough scholarship money to last 50 years so they've decided to end the race, and keep Katie's memory alive in other ways--knowing this community will feel her impact for years to come.
"That's what we hope-that her life will make a difference, even though she's not here," said Meg DeCubellis.