PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Run to Remember event has returned to the Junction City Sopping Center after being inactive for two years due to COVID-19.

Law enforcement members from all over Central Illinois, their families, and friends came out to run or walk in honor of fallen officers.

“A lot of people out here know an officer that has been killed in the line of duty or know someone that has a family member in the line of duty, so this is a way to honor them,” said Captain Chris Watkins of Peoria County Sheriff Department.

Maggie Butterfield is taking over as race director for the Mulay family who lost loved ones in the line of duty in 2005.

As a law enforcement wife and sister, this cause is close to her heart, and she’s honored to carry on the tradition.

“We have it in our blood, law enforcement, so there’s no better way to give back than to the survivors of fallen officers,” said Butterfield.

She said having the community come out for this cause to show love and encouragement to surviving family members is important.

“Anytime you lose a loved one, it’s not good but especially if you lose them in the line of duty while they are serving and protecting our communities, you want to come out and support those families,” said Butterfield.

Supporters also noted the timing of this event after Knox County deputy Nicholas Weist was killed in the line of duty in Henry County Friday morning.

One supporter said although he’s just running for the cause, the experience gave him a new perspective, after seeing those with personal ties.

“Yea I’m pushing through this pain of me just running 18 minutes for a 5K right now but at the same time someone lost their family member so they’re going to be grieving and having a lot more pain than I did for 18 minutes, way more than 18 minutes,” said Nicholas Neace.

All proceeds will go to the Illinois of Concerns of Police Survivors which benefits families of fallen officers.