"Westbrook Strong" 5K raises money for nursing students

5k race held to benefit scholarships for two nursing students.

WESTBROOK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Nearly 400 people gathered at Riverbank Park in Westbrook Saturday morning to run the "Westbrook Strong" 5K.

The race raises money for a memorial scholarship in the name of Matt Rairdon. Rairdon was killed in 2013 by his ex-boyfriend in what State Police called a "domestic violence homicide." The race, organized by Rairdon's parents, honors the man by raising money for a memorial scholarship for nursing students at Saint Joseph's College, where Rairdon studied nursing.

This year, they plan to offer scholarships to two students for the first time. The scholarships are based on the student's need.

"I don't think people can understand -- unless they've been in our shoes -- what it means to be able to celebrate Matthew in this way and to put our energy into something good," said Laurie Rairdon, Matt's mother.

"Our goal is to keep his memory alive so that they will know Matthew for years to come and this race will mean the caring part of a community," said Gary, Matt's father.

At 8 a.m., kids enjoyed the "Matt's Mile." There were also a number of raffle prizes. The Rairdon's hope to eventually raise the endowment to $100,000.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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