By Jim Predmore

Preston Veliquette breaks thru the finnish line of the 5k race in the memory of his mother Amber Bryant.

Amidst the purple balloons and posters that protested against domestic violence, almost one hundred participants gathered to be a part of the Women of Virtue Empowerment Network’s (WOVEN) 2nd annual Amber Bryant Memorial 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, October 13th.
For the second year, this event was held at Jeffrey Thornton Park in Brawley and offered participants the option of a 5K walk around the park or a 5K run with a route that included Cattle Call Park.
This event was held in honor of Amber Bryant, who lost her life in a domestic violence situation two years ago.  Making Saturday’s event even more special was having Amber’s family, including her son Preston, in attendance from New Mexico.
Prior to the start of the race, Preston challenged himself to complete the 5K run in 30 minutes.  He crossed the finish line with just a few seconds to spare, causing great cheers from the audience.
A trophy was given to the top female and male in both the walk and the run.  Winners of the walk trophies were Mary Delgado at 20:50 and Jacob Ritter at 20:41.  Top 5K runners were Greg Ponce at 19:13 and Bertha Magallanes with a time of 26:10.  Brawley Christian Academy won the perpetual plaque for having the largest team in the event, with 15 members representing their team.
The event was closed out in the same fashion as last year, with family and friends of Amber Bryant releasing purple balloons in the air.  It was a touching moment to see her son Preston, along with her sister and other family members, gather together with friends to release those balloons which soared up into a sunny Imperial Valley sky.

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