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Corey’s legacy of kindness holds in Marshalltown

A young runner is greeted by cheers as he makes his way to the finish line Saturday morning. Runners from all around participated in a 5K in honor of Corey Brown.

Corey Brown’s legacy and life continues to impact Marshalltown.

The second annual Corey Brown 5K was held at St. Francis Catholic School, and despite the dreary weather people made it out. The event was special beyond the 5K because of the presentation of a new buddy bench created in Corey’s honor.

“We just want his memory to stay alive forever and the message of being kind to one another,” Corey’s mother Michelle Brown said. “Everybody needs a buddy and Corey was friendly to everybody.”

There are other buddy benches dedicated to Corey at Marshalltown Community School District Miller Middle School and the Animal Rescue League. The benches are made from tens of thousands of recycled plastic grocery bags.

Corey Brown, 13, of Marshalltown, died tragically from a fall in January 2019. Since then Marshalltown has rallied around his name and kind nature. Events and memorials have been held remembering him.

“Last summer, Michelle wanted to do a 5K in honor of Corey because Corey always wanted her to run a 5K with him,” race organizer Maggie Stalzer said. “So last year we did it to raise money for the cross country team, because Corey was a cross country runner.”

This year they did the race at St. Francis Catholic School with the money going toward St. Francis to purchase Chromebooks. Corey attended St. Francis from preschool to sixth grade.

They handled the race a little differently because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Runners spaced out their start times so they could properly socially distance.

“We told people to come 15 minutes before their race time, register and run,” Stalzer said. “Everyone started at 15-minute intervals for an hour and half.”

Fareway donated water, and Brown’s Shoes donated two pairs of shoes for a drawing.

“It’s pretty amazing to see the support from the community,” Stalzer said.

Brown ran again on Saturday in honor of Corey.

“We want to make sure that message of kindness continues for years to come,” Brown said. “The love and support that we have from this community is amazing and I felt him with me the whole way. Marshalltown Strong.”

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Contact Thomas Nelson at 641-753-6611 or tnelson@timesrepublican.com

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