SARTELL -- Supporting parents who have lost a child, this is the mission of the What Would Bri Do foundation.

The non-profit held its first Rays of Hope 5K Walk Saturday morning in Sartell. The event was a way to raise money for the organization's annual Candlelight Vigil and maintaining the Angel of Hope Garden. Tami Kruzel is the President of What Would Bri Do. She says the city has been maintaining the garden since it was put in last spring but the foundation would like to start covering the maintenance costs.

"What we want to do is raise money to continue to add flowers or trees, do replacements if plants die and help keep that fronted on our own so the city [Sartell] doesn't have to continue to support it."

The Angel of Hope is a sculpture sitting on the shores of Lake Francis in Sartell. The statue is a place for parents to come and mourn the loss of their child. Kruzel says parents can still buy memorial pavers that can be placed in the Angel of Hope Garden.

"Everybody is a child of somebody. People are placing pavers in memory of their loved ones, no matter who they are, friends, neighbors, parents, sisters, brothers. There's also the opportunity to purchase benches, swings, or trees in memory of someone and each one of those will have a plaque."

What Would Bri Do was formed by Tami and Randy Kruzel after their daughter, 18-year-old BriAnna Kruzel died unexpectedly in 2013 from natural causes.

Kruzel says the Angel of Hope Garden is a reminder that she's not alone, that she's not the only one who has lost a child.

"You get the sense that you're not alone when you go down there. When you're down there you see all of these pavers of children who have been lost, children is anybody, but you just feel like you're not traveling the grief journey alone."

If you would like to place a paver in the garden or make a donation to the What Would Bri Do foundation follow the link below.

The What Would Bri Do Candlelight Vigil is scheduled for December 6. The location of the event has yet to be announced.

Angel of Hope memorial bench. (Chrissy Gaetke, WJON)
Angel of Hope memorial bench. (Chrissy Gaetke, WJON)

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