One local family is turning a tragedy into an act of kindness. 

About three years ago, a senseless act of domestic violence took the life of a 21-year-old mother.

Now, Ashley May's family is helping to keep her spirit alive by raising money and awareness about domestic violence. 

They held 5K Sunday in honor of her at Galanti Park in Lackawanna. 

This year's honorary guests were Lauri and Mark Weirzbicki. Their daughter Rachel was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend this past November. 

Since then, they have started the Rachel Warrior Foundation to raise awareness for domestic violence — which is what Ashley's family says is a common goal. 

"You know there's hope for people who feel like they're in a hopeless situation. I'm just a mom who doesn't want another mom to have to go through the same thing. Nobody's alone.

I just don't want anybody to ever feel like they have to stay in a situation that's harmful to them," said Ashley's mom, Andrea Kwasniewski.

A portion of the race's proceeds will also go to the Haven House — Buffalo's shelter for abused women.

Information and crisis services are available 24 hours a day or you can call the Erie County Domestic Violence Hotline at 716-884–6000.