Lou Forte has received plenty of support since his wife's death just over one year ago. As he stood on on Sunday addressing a crowd of more than 500 people, that support was never more evident.
The large group of runners, walkers, volunteers, and well-wishers turned out for the second annual Women of Wilmington Run for Wilmington and Kim Forte Walk in honor of the late resident, who was .
"I want to thank each and every one of you for your continued support and love," said Forte. "Knowing you're all here for our family would certainly make Kim smile.
Kim Forte was , which provided inspiration for the Women of Wilmington event.
Following her death, many residents recalled the infectious personality that made Kim so unique.
"Kim touched so many people along the way," said Forte. "She didn't plan it that way, but she had a gift. One that inspired and motivated, sharing her love with those whose paths she crossed. Just with that big, bright smile she could make your day. She made mine bright and happy for over 35 years.
Joseph Koech of Chelmsford blazed through the 5k course and was the first runner to cross the finish line. Koech completed the road race in an impressive time of 16 minutes and 16 seconds, which was 36 seconds better than the second place finisher.
James Munywoki was the first Wilmington runner to cross the line with a time of 18 minutes, 1 second, good for third overall.
As he concluded his address to the crowd, Lou Forte encouraged residents to continue the message that his wife spread throughout her life.
"Make someone's day," said Forte. "You all just made mine."