SCRANTON, Pa. -- Friends, fellow officers, even strangers gathered in Scranton to remember a city police patrolman killed in the line of duty in 2015 John Wilding.
"I`m pretty touched that all of these people came out in the heat to support our family, to help remember John, and to support the cadets at Lackawanna College Police Academy," said Mary Wilding, Patrolman Wilding's mother.
John's mom, Mary Wilding says the protect and defend 5k was named in John's memory after his death.
The run raises money for a scholarship to the Lackawanna College Police Academy.
"When John was in the Academy, he worked a full time job and a part time job. He had a three year old, his son was born when he was in the academy. It was a struggle, and if we could help a cadet like John make it a little bit easier to get through the academy, well, that`s the plan," said Mary.
Runners braved the heat for the three mile trek Patrolman Wilding's two children met them at the finish line.
"It was awesome to see them at the finish line, I saw them earlier on and I can`t believe how big they've gotten," said Chris Pahoski, Dickson City.
The nonprofit Operation Enduring Warrior had a strong showing in the race..
Among them, Trooper Alex Douglass, injured in the line of duty in 2014.
The organization helps injured police and service members.
"There`s no reason to give us pity, things unfortunately happen in our lives but it's how you carry, how you handle the situation, and how you carry yourself afterwards. Especially on a day like this, an event for Patrolman John Wilding, we came out here to show his family we honor him and them as well, and just wanted to show our support for the community out there," said Earl Granville, Operation Enduring Warrior.