KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) — It was a record turnout for the Fort 5K in Kettering on Sunday, as more than 200 runners and walkers of all ages came out for a morning of exercise and remembrance. This annual event is hosted by the Fairmont Girls Basketball program, in honor of 1996 graduate Melissa Fortener McLaughlin. 

Melissa, or “Fort,” was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 when she was 25 years old. After a five-year battle with the disease, Melissa died two days before her 31st birthday. Those who knew her always talk about her positive outlook, and say that her spirit lives on in her family, friends and community. 

Race awards, raffle basket and silent auction winners were announced in a small ceremony after the race. A $1,000 scholarship was also awarded to a lucky Fairmont senior.

Proceeds from the Fort 5K go to the Fairmont High School Girls Basketball program.