Pam Cross and Dawn Chenault walk through the hallways at Cool Spring Baptist Church and peek into classrooms. They are all empty now, but in just a few weeks they will be filled with Meg Menzies’ spirit.
“She just loved people,” Cross says about her daughter. “She loved helping everybody and encouraging people. So this would have been something she’d been right in the middle of.”
Cross says she personally looks to her faith to make sense of Menzies’ death in January 2014.
Menzies, a wife and mother, was an elite runner who was training for the Boston Marathon when a drunk driver struck her.
Cross explains her heart will never fully heal, but she and others close to Menzies throw themselves into projects keeping her legacy alive.
The latest project is a day-long conference that will share Menzies’ mission to be a better person.
Called ‘Growing in the Journey: Running the Race Set Before Us,’ the conference benefits Meg’s Miles, the nonprofit founded in Menzies’ honor.
“We could not have anyone else’s name on this,” says Dawn Chenault, who was Menzies’ friend. “Everything that we are doing is something that she was passionate about. She would be so thrilled.”
Chenault says the Meg’s Miles conference is an extension of the social media movement that has united people all over the world with #MegsMiles. Even now, four years later, that hashtag connects people and has helped the effort continue to grow in the Richmond area and beyond.
“She left an impact on everyone,” Chenault relays. “Germany, California, Maine, so many different states. And that’s a big deal when you didn’t even know the person. But that is how strong her story is.”
Those strangers worldwide who have become supporters are invited to the conference that will focus on finding joy in life. Speakers, workshops, vendors and a concert will be faith-based, which was at the center of Menzies’ life.
It is inspired by a tragedy that has carried across the miles.
“Just love each other and love other people and encourage and support and help,” Cross describes. “Being supportive and encouraging was what she was really all about.”
‘Growing in the Journey: Running the Race Set Before Us’ is taking place on Saturday, April 28 at Cool Spring Baptist Church. All proceeds benefit Meg’s Miles, the nonprofit set up in Menzies’ memory.
Follow this link for a full list of speakers and to register, which is $65.