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(NECN/NBC News: Abbey Niezgoda) - Hundreds of flamingos lined the streets of Stratford, Conn. Saturday morning for the first annual Vicki Soto 5K race, in honor of the Sandy Hook teacher who died trying to save the lives of her students.
"We had to do pink hair the pink eyelashes and the flamingo glasses because this is what she would do. She would be the crazy one with the crazy outfit on," said Jillian Soto, the victim’s sister.
In feathers and tutus, more than two-thousand turned out to honor the Sandy Hook teacher, including her younger brother, who still can't believe it's been 10 months since his sister shielded her students from the gunman who killed her.
"It still feels like it was only yesterday. I still look back and it's 'oh my god' we're in November already it doesn't feel real at all," said Soto’s brother, Carlos.
But what is real is the community's support. So many people wanted to run that organizers ran out of numbers.
"It shows that people haven't forgotten and it shows that we have so much support here," Carlos Soto continued.
All of the runners pais a $26.00 entry fee in honor of the 26 individuals who lost their lives.
"A scholarship fund basically to help our future educators in Vicki’s name," said James Wiltsie, Soto’s cousin.
With each step along the flamingo-lined route, they helped raise more than 50-thousand dollars for the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund, the perfect present considering she would have turned 28 on Monday.
Her family says they can't think of a better way to celebrate.
"We’re just going to rock it today and have a blast and not think of it is as she's gone because she's going to be running out there with us no matter what,” said Jillian Soto.