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WNC community runs for Tommy Bryson

A special event Saturday morning, the Tommy Bryson Memorial 5K Deer Dash, is just another way the community is recognizing a very popular man. (Photo credit: Bryson family)

It's been about four months since a beloved Mills River resident was found dead, but his legacy lives on.

Tommy Bryson was discovered June 30 in a cornfield. Authorities said he was shot to death by fugitive Phillip Stroupe.

A special event Saturday morning, the Tommy Bryson Memorial 5K Deer Dash, is just another way the community is recognizing a very popular man.

Bryson was a husband, father and grandfather, a native son of the Mills River valley. It was his tragic death that brought an entire community together.

People who never knew Bryson lit candles and stood vigil. There were bouquets brought to the memorial set up not far from where his body was found.

"It's, it's, it's just Mills River. It's just what we do," race director Greg Price said.

The race, named for something Bryson enjoyed about this time every year right, will be run bright and early Saturday

One of his sons designed the logo for the T-shirt, and people started signing up.

"We were at about 70 or 80 folks about a month ago, and now all of the sudden we're up to 300," Price said.

The man who loved to hunt also loved basketball. That's where race entry fees come in.

"The money is going to Mills River recreational fund, and that money is designated for, to build a basketball court in Tommy Bryson's name."

A basketball court -- a place to play and remember a husband, father and grandfather whose legacy will live on.

The Brysons will be feeling the love Saturday morning. From wife to grandkids, all will be running or walking.

You can still sign up here at Mills River Park from 6:45-8:15 a.m. Or you can click here to donate to the basketball court fund.

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