Balloon release pays tribute to missing woman Sherri Papini
REDDING, Calif. - Redding's Turkey Trot brought out more than 3,000 runners and walkers Thanksgiving morning. The events started with the kids' Diestelhorst Dash at the Diestelhorst Bridge at 8 a.m. Before the races, a crowd gathered for a balloon release dedicated to missing Shasta County mother Sherri Papini. Papini disappeared three weeks ago. The 34-year-old wife and mother of two was last seen walking or running about a mile from her home in Mountain Gate on November 2. Thursday morning, supporters wore yellow ribbons and sent yellow balloons skyward, as a show of support for her family.
A family friend, Scott Bruland, read a statement from the Papini family. "When the race is over most of us will spend time feasting and giving thanks," Bruland said. "Three weeks ago our family was shattered by the disappearance of our beloved Sherri. Our family is lost without her, we are asking all of you today to keep her memory and face alive. Please continue to post on social media, hand out flyers and keep hope of Sherri's safe return." Organizers said they expected about 2,000 people to run and walk the two mile course, and 1,000 participants for the six mile event. Participants bundled up for the races to keep warm amid temperatures in the 30's. The proceeds will benefit non-profits in the community. Last year more than $60,000 was donated to the Good News Rescue Mission, Shasta Family YMCA and other groups.