Fun run at Pioneers Park in memory of Tabitha Heftie’s life

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 8:28 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Tabitha Heftie was a 17-year-old Pius senior before her life was taken in a car crash November 2020. Through support from the community, as well as help from family and friends, Tabitha’s legacy lives on.

Tabitha and Alyssa Dunlap were in a car crash near Eagle Raceway. Alyssa was thrown from the car and injured, while her best friend Tabitha lost her life. But, even doing difficult times, Tabitha’s mother is staying positive, with all of the support from the community.

“Through a tragic experience we can build a community, that we can have some positive events come out of it, and join together and support each other,” said Tabitha’s mother, Julie Heftie.

On Saturday July 10, loved ones are hosting a fun run at Pioneers Park celebrating Tabitha’s life. All donations from the event will go towards one of Tabitha’s passions, the Penguin Project.

The Penguin Project gives young artists with disabilities the opportunity to perform Broadway musicals with help from their mentors.

“Tabitha loved hanging out with her friends, so she would be completely right up there with them,” said Julie Heftie.

The Penguin Project was so close to Tabitha’s heart, that in June 2019 she spoke with 10/11 NOW about what those relationships mean to her.

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In the 2019 interview Tabitha said, “Since this year we have gotten a lot closer, we’re really good friends now. We just talk about a lot of different things and it’s really great friendship, a friendship that has really blossomed.”

Developing that friendship and supporting others is what her family says made Tabitha such a great person.

“She didn’t want to be center stage, she was one who supported and provided support for others so they could take the front,” said Julie Heftie.

If you’re wanting to take part in the fun run, it starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Pioneers Park. Runners have the option to run one or two miles, no sign up is needed.

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