ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - ABC Action News is once again proud to partner with Lorraine Yaslowitz for her Third Annual Partners for Life Police Appreciation Run and Walk.
Yaslowitz established the race to help other crime victims after her husband, canine officer Jeff Yaslowitz, was killed in the line of duty.
This year, the race is a little different. It will start at the new Police Memorial on Demens Landing in Downtown St. Petersburg.
Her foundation helps other families. She said doing that helps her own family heal.
She visits the memorial often since it went up in October. She said just being there brings her peace and thought what a perfect place to begin the race.
"We come here and watch people just looking at it and just staring, and it does something for me because they are honoring people who sacrificed their lives and who are still out there every day protecting us. I thought this is where it needs to begin," said Yaslowitz.
In January 2011, her husband Jeff Yaslowitz and Sgt. Tom Baitinger were killed when a gunman ambushed them in an attic.
About a month later, St. Pete Police lost another officer, David Crawford, gunned down by a teenager.
The community rallied behind the families. Yaslowitz felt blessed, but also realized not everyone had the same support.
"I knew then that I wanted to do the same thing for others that suffered a similar loss," said Yaslowitz.
The race was born and the foundation established, thanks in part to a dear friend of Yaslowitz and Tom Baitinger's, Kevin Hannigan.
"I had no doubt with Lorraine's tenacity that it would be successful. I am pleasantly surprised how successful the foundation has been and how many people we have been able to touch and help," said Hannigan.
Among those helped include the family of Matthew Little, a security officer killed at an apartment complex. And Tameka Mack, a 24-year-old mother of two young children killed over Easter weekend last year.
Hannigan has this message in hopes of rallying the community: "We live in the greatest place in the world. Run a race and honor our guys."
And Yaslowiz says thank you in advance. "We hold up the community in our prayers because they do that for us and have for so long."
For more information, visit http://www.floridaroadraces.com/police.html .
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