Last week, the family of Dawn Brancheau, who was killed by a whale at SeaWorld Orlando last year, broke their silence about their loss and announced plans for a foundation honoring the trainer.
On Saturday, hundreds showed up at SeaWorld for the Inaugural Dream Big 5K. The runners were honoring the life and legacy of Brancheau, who was killed when a killer whale pulled her underneath the water.
"She was a light in all our lives. She was very special," said Tom Loverde, Brancheau's brother.
Brancheau's family was at the park honoring her through service.
The response was overwhelming as hundreds turned out to run and help pack a truck with food for the Central Florida Children's Home.
Family and friends said the event was bittersweet, adding that it was helping them heal.
"It feels good to finally come together and just celebrate what a good person she was and to be able to do some good in the community," said Anthony Foganeni, Brancheau's nephew.
The educational pavilion at SeaWorld was just renamed in Brancheau's honor and every year, 100,000 students will learn about marine life and conservation at the facility.
The Dawn Brancheau Foundation and volunteers capped off Saturday's events with community service projects for Give Kids the World and the Central Florida Children's Home.
The Dawn Branchaeu Foundation said it was looking forward to planing a similar event in the family's hometown area of Chicago.