The mother of the two Oak Bay sisters found dead on Christmas Day will be running a half-marathon in their honour at the beginning of May.
Sarah Cotton has announced that she will be participating in the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon on May. 6 to honour the lives of her daughters Chloe Berry, 6, and Aubrey, 4, whose bodies were found in their father’s apartment on Christmas Day. He is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in their deaths.
“On Christmas Day, my beloved girls were taken from me… Along with myself, my family, friends and many others in the Victoria community and beyond are devastated, shocked and overwhelmed with grief at this senseless and futile tragedy,” Cotton writes on a new gofundme page created to raise funds in advance of the run.
“With Scott and Trisha by my side, I will be running in the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon as part of my healing and in honour of my girls. I know that they will be running alongside us in spirit,” writes Cotton.
The money raised through the gofundme page will be split between the Mary Manning Centre and the Chloe and Aubrey Berry Scholarship Fund at Christ Church Cathedral School.
The Mary Manning Centre responds to children, youth and families who are affected by abuse in all its forms as well as abuse related trauma, by providing victim services, counselling, prevention and education. Cotton’s hope is that through raising money for this important organization, waitlists can be reduced and access to counselling is more immediate.
“Chloe and Aubrey both received counselling from the Mary Manning Centre. Sarah noticed tremendous benefits from the counselling and she’s very grateful for that organization,” said close friend Trisha Lees, who will be running the half-marathon with Cotton.
The Chloe and Aubrey Berry Scholarship Fund is a scholarship set up through the Victoria Foundation to provide scholarships to children attending Christ Church Cathedral School. It is the school where Chloe attended Grade 1 and Aubrey was going to start kindergarten in September.
The community has been looking for ways to support Sarah Cotton through her grief, which is evidenced in the response so far to Cotton’s run announcement. In the span of just four days, the gofundme page has already raised $25,245 of the $30,000 goal.
“I think in times like these you could develop a lot of unhealthy habits, so with both of us being longtime runners, we thought this would be a way of taking care of yourselves – having time to reflect in a positive way,” said Lees. “Basically, what we are all about right now is just taking care of Sarah as best we can.”
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