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Runners To Dress As Flamingos In Honor Of Sandy Hook Teacher

Vicki Soto 5K Set For Nov. 2 In Stratford, Conn.
Vicki Soto (credit: Facebook)

Vicki Soto (credit: Facebook)

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Tragedy In Newtown

STRATFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — People in flamingo costumes will hold a fundraiser to honor a teacher killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

The family of Vicki Soto is hoping to get dozens of people to run through the streets of Statford, Conn., Soto’s hometown, dressed as her favorite bird — although the costumes are not required to participate. They’ve organized a road race, the Vicki Soto 5K, for Nov. 2.

“Vicki’s favorite animal was the flamingo,” Jim Wiltsie, Soto’s cousin and the event’s organizer, told WCBS. “And the flamingo has become the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund logo.

“We thought, the event is Nov. 2, shortly after Halloween, it might be fun to kind of incorporate anyone that wants to run in a flamingo costume is more than welcome.”

Soto was a 27-year-old first-grade teacher at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Conn., when authorities say she tried to shield her students from the gunman who killed 20 children and six women.

Proceeds from the race will go to the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund, which provides scholarships to students seeking to become teachers.

The race has an entry fee of $26, in honor of the shooting’s 26 victims. As of Sunday, 827 people had signed up for the 5K; Wiltsie said his goal is to have 1,000. He also said he hopes the event becomes a tradition.

“It’s the first annual Vicki Soto 5K, but we’re hoping it will blossom into many, many more years to come to sustain that fund to keep giving back to the students that want to go into education,” Wiltsie said.

Those interested in participating can sign up at http://www.hitekracing.com/vickisoto5k.

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