Photo: Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media
Image 1 of 10
Britt Gardella of New Canaan, who graduated the high school in 2012 and organized the event in memory of her late mother, talks logistics at the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Britt Gardella of New Canaan, who graduated the high school in 2012 and organized the event in memory of her late mother, talks logistics at the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High School, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in New Canaan, Conn.
Photo: Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media
Image 2 of 10
Colt Alford, 14, of New Canaan, gets a sign in place for the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High School, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in New Canaan, Colt Alford, 14, of New Canaan, gets a sign in place for the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High School, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in New Canaan, Conn.
Photo: Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media
Image 3 of 10
Courtney Flynn of New Canaan helps her son, Jameson, 7, with a last-minute preparation at the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High School, Sunday, Courtney Flynn of New Canaan helps her son, Jameson, 7, with a last-minute preparation at the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High School, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in New Canaan, Conn.
Photo: Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media
Image 4 of 10
Darcy Chiodo, 3, of New Canaan, listens to the race instructions at the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High School, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in New Darcy Chiodo, 3, of New Canaan, listens to the race instructions at the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High School, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in New Canaan, Conn.
Photo: Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media
Image 5 of 10
Kids prepare to begin the Fun Run at the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High School, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in New Canaan, Conn.
Photo: Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media
Image 6 of 10
Preparing their numbers are Kamen Ralev of New Canaan and his kids, Victor, 13, center, and Radea, 10, at the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High Preparing their numbers are Kamen Ralev of New Canaan and his kids, Victor, 13, center, and Radea, 10, at the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High School, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in New Canaan, Conn.
Photo: Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media
Image 7 of 10
Rebecca Smolarz, 8, of Stamford helps her father, Karl, stretch at the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High School, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in New Rebecca Smolarz, 8, of Stamford helps her father, Karl, stretch at the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High School, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in New Canaan, Conn.
Photo: Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media
Image 8 of 10
Carbing up before the run are Lizzie Kuckinski, 16, left, and Bella Grecco, 15, of New Canaan, at the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High School, Carbing up before the run are Lizzie Kuckinski, 16, left, and Bella Grecco, 15, of New Canaan, at the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High School, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in New Canaan, Conn.
Photo: Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media
Image 9 of 10
There were more than 150 participants at the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High School, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in New Canaan, Conn.
Photo: Jarret Liotta / For Hearst Connecticut Media
Image 10 of 10
The 5K begins at the first-ever "Unite to Fight 5K" in support of the nonprofit Filling in the Blanks at New Canaan High School, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in New Canaan, Conn.

NEW CANAAN — Celebrating the memory her late mother—Kristen Ruth—a local kindergarten teacher—this young New Canaan woman inspired a band of people to come out running for a good cause.

Local charity Filling in the Blanks, which targets childhood hunger, held its first-ever “Unite to Fight” 5K race event at New Canaan High School Sunday morning, organized by Britt Gardella, who graduated the school in 2012.

“Children were a huge passion for her,” Gardella said of her mother, which prompted the idea to work with the charity.

“I wanted to do something that honored her,” she said.

More than $13,000 was raised by the event, which drew over 150 people, including a number of kids who ran a short fun run before the main event.