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Runners, Flamingos Flock To 5K Race To Honor Vicki Soto In Stratford

Runners dress up in costumes for the Vicki Soto 5K in Stratford on Saturday.
Runners dress up in costumes for the Vicki Soto 5K in Stratford on Saturday. Photo Credit: Contributed
Even the kids got into the swing of things at the Vicki Soto 5K in Stratford over the weekend.
Even the kids got into the swing of things at the Vicki Soto 5K in Stratford over the weekend. Photo Credit: Contributed
Kids step off at the Vicki Soto 5K races.
Kids step off at the Vicki Soto 5K races. Photo Credit: Contributed
Runners drape themselves in pink for the Vicki Soto 5K in Stratford.
Runners drape themselves in pink for the Vicki Soto 5K in Stratford. Photo Credit: Contributed
Runners of all ages take part in the Vicki Soto 5K.
Runners of all ages take part in the Vicki Soto 5K. Photo Credit: Contributed
Runners step out across Lordshp for the Vicki Soto 5K on Saturday.
Runners step out across Lordshp for the Vicki Soto 5K on Saturday. Photo Credit: Contributed
Crowds cheer on the runners at the Vicki Soto 5K in Stratford.
Crowds cheer on the runners at the Vicki Soto 5K in Stratford. Photo Credit: Contributed
Flamingos were a favorite of Vicki Soto.
Flamingos were a favorite of Vicki Soto. Photo Credit: Contributed
The U.S. flag flies high at the Vicki Soto 5K.
The U.S. flag flies high at the Vicki Soto 5K. Photo Credit: Contributed
Pink tutus and wigs are a favorite costume at the Vicki Soto 5K.
Pink tutus and wigs are a favorite costume at the Vicki Soto 5K. Photo Credit: Contributed
The finish line at the Vicki Soto 5K.
The finish line at the Vicki Soto 5K. Photo Credit: Contributed
Crowds gather for the Vicki Soto 5K in Stratford on Saturday.
Crowds gather for the Vicki Soto 5K in Stratford on Saturday. Photo Credit: Contributed

STRATFORD, Conn. — As runners stepped off Saturday in a 5K race in Stratford to honor Vicki Soto, many were decked out in pink tutus, pink wigs and pink flamingos.

The pink accessories were favorites of Soto, a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, , lending a festive air to what could have been a somber event.

Her hometown of Stratford honors Soto with an annual 5K near her birthday. She would have turned 30 on Nov. 14.

Nearly 3,000 runners took part in the race, which was organized by her cousin, Stratford resident and Fairfield police officer James Wiltsie, with longtime race director Marty Schaivone.

The race raised an estimated $100,000 for the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund.

All proceeds will go toward scholarships for students pursuing careers in education.

About 10 teachers from Stratford’s Victoria Soto School, which opened this fall, took part in the race. Donning neon pink wigs — in memory of Soto’s love for pink flamingos — they joined hundreds of others who wore flamingo headbands and pink and purple tutus.

“We need to support this because it’s an honor to teach at that school,” said second-grade teacher Kim Perillo of Stratford.

Read more about the Vicki Soto 5K here in the Daily Voice . Also, read in the Daily Voice how a Stratford man honors his cousin by organizing the annual event.

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