HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Hundreds of runners and walkers took to downtown Highland Park Sunday to raise money and awareness for a subject still so fresh in their minds.
“It’s really taking every ounce of courage that I have to be out here,” said Debra Baum, founder of the Highland Park Gun Violence Project.
Baum calls herself a survivor of the mass shooting that claimed the lives of seven while injuring dozens more eleven months ago Sunday. In the aftermath, she founded the Highland Park Gun Violence Project, which helps organize events like the race on Sunday, and continues to push for lawmakers to pass gun legislation.
“You have thousands of people coming together … to show the world that we’re strong,” State Representative Brad Schneider (10th) said. “That we can recover, we can come together and we can move forward.”
The event itself featured a one-mile, 5K, and a half-marathon race that community leaders, like Schneider, and event organizers, like Baum, hope can galvanize support for their cause.
“I’m so proud of this community. We’ve really stepped up to take care of our own,” Baum said. “Seven people were murdered that day and dozens of people were injured, but as a community, we are all traumatized … and we’re not over it. I think all of these communities who suffer from gun violence stay traumatized for decades to come … and that’s why this all needs to end.”