By CHRIS FASOLINO
---- — CHAMPLAIN — It is something that she wanted to do in memory of a friend — and with an eye to the future.
So, Angela Bechard decided to organize a Run/Walk event in honor and remembrance of Ashley Poissant and for the benefit of her friend’s three children.
Poissant was killed on May 20, 2013, when she was struck by a vehicle while she was jogging.
FOR THE BOYS
The event in her memory, Ashley’s Run/Walk, will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 27, on River Street in Champlain.
Poissant’s three children — Logan, 9; Ethan, 6; and Owen, 5 — will be the beneficiaries.
“I want to raise money for those three boys who are now left without a mother,” Bechard said.
She said the boys are “doing good, but they still have their ups and downs.”
Losing her friend has been difficult for her, Bechard said, “let alone three young ones who don’t have the whole grip on life yet. It’s hard for them to understand what’s going on.”
Poissant had already set up bank accounts for her three children to help with their college educations and future needs. Money raised through the Run/Walk will go into those accounts, Bechard said.
But helping the boys isn’t the only reason Bechard wanted to organize the event.
“It’s something I had to do for closure. The Run/Walk thing is something Ashley and I both loved to do.
“This is who she was.”
When Bechard approached the Village of Champlain about arranging the event, she was directed to Village Trustee Janet McFetridge. Together, McFetridge and Bechard have organized Ashley’s Run/Walk.
“I organize a lot of different events in this area,” McFetridge said, “and I’ve organized a few 5K runs before. I do the nitty-gritty stuff: how many volunteers we need, how to set up the course, that kind of thing.
“Angela is the emotional strength behind it. That’s the way I look at it.”
The course is 3.1 miles and will be patrolled by law enforcement. Participants will have the choice to run or to walk, and people with the three fastest times will earn trophies.
McFetridge said people are welcome to just walk for three or four blocks if they want.
“We’re just hoping to see a lot of local support.”
The event will be held rain or shine, but Bechard noted: “We are hoping for a good, warm day.”
In addition to the 3.1-mile course, there will be a small course laid out on River Street for children who wish to participate.
“We’re going to set little cones up for them, and they can have a little race and the chance to win rewards.”
Bechard feels this will appeal to children who would like to get involved because their dad or mom is participating.
“This event is for all ages.”
It is, after all, for the benefit of three children — and in memory of their mother.
“The Village of Champlain is very community-oriented,” McFetridge said, “and I think this is the same in any small community in the North Country.
“We rally around those who need support.”
HOW TO HELP
Money for Ashley Poissant's children will be raised through registration forms, which participants in the run/walk need to fill out.
The forms cost $5 each and can be obtained at the Village Office on Main Street in Champlain or online at www.vchamplain.com under the Announcements section.
In addition, T-shirts will be sold for $10 each. They can be purchased before or during the event. They feature an image of two runners, along with the year, the date and the words "Ashley's Run/Walk." The T-shirts are available in sizes from small to XXL.