'This is everything that Vicki would ever want.' Slain Sandy Hook teacher remembered at annual 5K

December will mark 11 years since 26 were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. On Saturday, thousands participated in the Vicki Soto 5K to support the legacy of one of those teachers.
“This is everything that Vicki would ever want,” said Jillian Soto-Marino. Her sister, first-grade teacher Vicki Soto, was killed while protecting her students.
“It’s a thing I think about a lot when I think about going to school with kids,” said Brookfield High School teacher Chris Buckley. “Vicki gave her life for kids, so it’s important for us that we can give back.”
To her class, she was Miss Soto. At home, she was “big sis.”
“Vicki was an amazing person,” Soto-Marino said. “As her younger sister, it hurts to say that. She was the person I idolized the most.”
Saturday would have been Vicki’s 38th birthday – and 2,800 runners came out to celebrate. Runners said they fed off the energy of the crowd.
“It was a great day to be out there, the course was really nice,” said Nolan Rourke, of Milford.
That included plenty of pink and flamingos – Vicki’s favorite animal.
“We started seeing them in baby's clothes, we saw them in stores, and we knew that was her sign to us that she's with us,” said Soto-Marino.
The Soto family created the Vicki Soto 5K to carry on her love of education. Over the years, they’ve raised over $600,000 in books and scholarships.
“She loved things over the top, so to have all these people show up for her today is all that our family could ever ask for,” said Soto-Marino.
“It’s a great day to be a teacher,” said Buckley.