He may have been four years older than her, but Payton Comazzetto and her brother Brennan were always close.
"Extremely," the Thompson Rivers University student said. "We did everything together. If he was out biking with his friends, I'd always be bringing up the rear."
On one day in 1999, Brennan was riding his bike near the family home in Dallas when he was hit and killed by a drunk driver. It left Payton, who was then six years old, traumatized. Through the years, she has struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and flashbacks. She is also at a place where she can do something to honour her brother and give back to the community at the same time. She's created Brennan's Ugly Sweater Run on Sunday, at Rainbow's Roost, 6675 Westsyde Rd.
The five-kilometre run is to acknowledge how much her brother loved Christmas, including ugly holiday sweaters, and to support the Power Start program that sees the Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops feeding children breakfasts. Comazzetto was inspired by the service course she takes at TRU, which encourages students to become involved in their communities by volunteering. She started running about three years ago, volunteers with the city's Run Club and was inspired to put that passion into a way that does good and recognizes her brother.
"I remember he and I had Boys and Girls Club shirts when we were little," she said. "And breakfasts and kids just flows together nicely."
Comazzetto wants to build on her support of the agency as she moves forward in her education. She's completing a four-year bachelor of arts degree this year and plans to move into the education program at TRU, aiming to work at an inner-city school. Ultimately, she wants to get an advanced degree in counselling to work with children who -- as she did -- experience trauma.
For those who want to take part, the minimum donation is $10 or $35 for a family of four. Payment by cash or cheque can be done on the day of the event or online at gofundme.com/2vmas. There will be prizes for the ugliest sweater. They have been donated by Runners Sole, Save-On-Foods and other anonymous donors. Sponsors of the event include Synergy Counselling Associates. RunClub, Kamloops Electric Motor and Wescon Distribution. McDonald's is providing coffee. There's also a Facebook page with information. Search for Ugly Sweater 5K Run -- Brennan's Run.