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Daniel Ellis Memorial 5K bouncing back from pandemic this weekend

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 6:03 PM EDT
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MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - This weekend marks a somber anniversary for a Madison County family and a police department.

Officer Daniel Ellis was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 6, 2015. Since then, family and friends have created a memorial 5K run this time each year to keep Ellis’ memory alive and do good in the community.

The Daniel Ellis Memorial 5K was scheduled for earlier in the spring, but like so many things, COVID changed those plans. When they started looking at dates in the fall, the first Saturday of this month made sense.

“This year it just happened that the first day in November did correspond with his end of watch, and I thought you know, everyone remembers him and thinks of him on that day anyway so what a better honor, if we had to reschedule the race than to have it on that day,” said Katie DeSimone, Ellis’ widow.

DeSimone oversees the Daniel Ellis Foundation. In addition to a scholarship, they give money to people in Madison County going through a tough time.

“Any time that we find out someone you know, has a child in the hospital, maybe they lost their home with a bad financial something come up. To help them,” DeSimone said.

They normally give $457 because 457 was Daniel’s badge number, but lately the needs have gone up. DeSimone said the people they’re giving money to aren’t the only ones being helped.

“It’s been such a healing process for me because I’ve been able to pour energy in helping others and because people were there to help me when I needed it the most,” DeSimone said.

The first year of the race, they had more than 1,500 participants. For this Saturday, they have around 270 signed up, but they’re hoping a few more will get on board between now and then.

Either way, she said they’ll take each step with a grateful heart.

“I’m just completely humbled and honored that people continue to come to the race. And they continue to show us love,” DeSimone said.

You can register for that race right up until it starts until 8:30 Saturday morning. You can also register to be a volunteer.

The Daniel Ellis First Responders Memorial Scholarship helps first responders who go to Eastern Kentucky University, his alma mater.

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