LARCHWOOD, IA - A northwest Iowa community is still grieving after the death of a sheriff's deputy. Deputy Stephanie Schreurs died Tuesday from injuries she sustained in a crash on Friday. Many communities across the United States have come together to honor the fallen deputy, including small communities in Lyon County.
Thursday night's event began with a prayer, right outside Saint Mary's Church, which was then followed by a run behind an emergency vehicle. It was a one mile journey taking people down to Larchwood City Park and back to the church. It was inspired by a boy who has done the same thing several times as a sign of respect.
"We saw on Facebook that this 10 year old Zechariah runs for fallen heroes, and he was going to run at the same time tonight in honor of Steph Schreurs," Julie Joachim said.
But it wasn't just Larchwood. Memorial runs were also underway at the same time in neighboring Inwood and Rock Rapids. All of them were inspired by that young Florida boy.
"Any time he hears of a fallen either soldier or police officer, he runs one mile for them carrying a flag," Jennifer Moser said.
As the separate parties made their trek through their own respective areas, some finished at different times. But plenty learned about what Schreurs meant to a small Iowa community and how an event like this reminded them of someone, who meant so much.
"Steph was great at supporting us and cheering us on. If she'd see us running, she'd watch out for us; do laps and make sure we're okay," Jennifer and Julie said.
Those two are known to take early morning runs around town, which is one reason they were very familiar with Deputy Schreurs.
A funeral service for Deputy Schreurs will be held at 10:00 AM on Monday at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. It is open to the public.