WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Hundreds of people gathered Sunday at Goddard Memorial State Park for the 3rd Annual Gianna Cirella 5K.
Runners and walkers wearing #GiStrong on their shirts helped raise money for sepsis research, education, and outreach. Among them was 12 News anchor Shannon Hegy.
It’s no coincidence the event was held on Mother’s Day. Tara Cirella chose the day specifically after suddenly losing her 16-year-old daughter to sepsis in November 2017.
Since then, she’s worked to raise awareness through the Gianna Cirella Memorial Fund.
Cirella said the turnout for this year’s 5K far exceeded her expectations, and she hopes the event continues to bring families together.
“We got sunshine today, we had everything that we could’ve asked for to bring some outside fresh air and activity to people and I’m so so glad we’re still able to do this on Mother’s Day,” she added. “It means the world to me and hopefully it brings some families together on Mother’s Day for a couple hours.”
This year’s event was a hybrid model, allowing those who didn’t feel comfortable to run to join in virtually from home.