“Grace was truly the kindest person you could ever meet. She loved her family and friends, she loved animals, she was an absolute joy to have as a daughter,” said Susan Holt, mother of Grace.
Grace Holt, who was a South Medford High School student and member of the cross country team, took her own life three years ago. She was just 15 years old.
“She really was just a very happy person herself and people knew her for that,” said Lindsey Gurr, Grace’s best friend.
Susan said behind the smile, she suffered from depression and didn’t have the typical signs people might think of when dealing with depression.
“She got good grades, had good friends, but five months before she died she told me that she felt sad and she didn’t understand why,” added Susan.
Susan’s life changed forever in early January 2016. That’s why every year since hundreds come out to participate in ‘Run With Grace 5k.’
“It’s become more of a celebration, you can see it in Susan that it’s helped her healing,” said Travis Dick, participant.
With more than 850 participants this year, those in the community come out to share in her memory.
“Grace just loved animals and especially chickens. There’s a lot of pictures of her holding chickens and things and so I thought what better way to bring some joy,” added Dick.
Susan has made sure Grace’s love for people and animals will live on forever by starting up the Grace and Kindness Scholarship Fund, which gives opportunities for children to experience summer camps.
“I just want to thank the community for all the support. It’s just so touching and just amazing that the community cares so much about our kids.”
If you would like to donate to the fund, click here.
NBC5 News Multimedia Journalist Rayvan Vares was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i. He graduated from Southern Oregon University with a degree in Communication. While attending SOU, he studied abroad in Japan.
When he’s not reporting, Rayvan enjoys working out, dancing hula, and traveling. Feel free to email him with story ideas, [email protected]