Race benefits kids who’ve lost a parent to violence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A few hundreds runners gathered Saturday at Roger Williams Park in Providence to remember a man gunned down in 2011.

Now in its fourth year, the Steven K. Latimer Memorial 5k raises money to help children who have lost a parent or guardian to violence.

Latimer left behind a 5-year-old daughter when he was shot several times in the torso on Dyer Street. It was just days before his 24th birthday.

His mother, Myra Latimer Nicholas, organized the event, and said she misses her son and mourns the life he never got to live.

“So many people say you’re a product of your environment. You have the ability to do whatever you want, no matter where you come from,” she said.

Latimer Nicholas released doves in her son’s memory Saturday, recalling his bright smile and his plans to enroll in college to better provide for his daughter. Now a nonviolence advocate, she had a message for those committing violent crimes.

“Think about the impact of what you’re doing has on everyone,” she said. “Once my son was laid to rest, he’s not hurting anymore, and every other person whose lives you have taken, you’re not hurting them. It’s those of us that are left behind that are suffering.”

Jordan Seaberry from the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence said losing someone to violence is a very different kind of grief.

“To be able to build a community and build a family that understands what you’re feeling and what you’re going through is the greatest way to build a memorial to your loved one,” he said.

Latimer Nicholas said the foundation in her son’s name has raised about $30,000 over the past four years, handing out eight scholarships to help children caught in a world of violence.

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