WILKES-BARRE — Hundreds of supporters including friends, family members, co-workers and professional peers of Kristopher David Moules gathered on Saturday for the inaugural Kris Moules Walk for the Heroes at Kirby Park.
They came to show their solidarity and support for the family of the young corrections officer who lost his life in the line of duty last year, as well as for other law enforcement members.
The event was coordinated by Kitty Moules, Kris Moules’ mother; Eric Messersmith, chief union steward for the Luzerne County Correctional Facility where Moules worked; family member Daina Draina; and close friend and co-worker Chris Walsh. Participants gathered to run or walk a 5-kilometer course or walk a 1-kilometer course.
“The response was tremendous. They came from all over the state to show the family they care about what happened,” Messersmith said. “It could be the biggest local run of the season.”
The event raised money to support local youth sports programs and training programs for future law enforcement officers, which were important causes for Kris Moules.
The funds go into The Kristopher David Moules Memorial FOI Fund for the Heroes, administered by the Luzerne Foundation.
Charles Barber, president and CEO of the Luzerne Foundation, said the organization is honored to oversee the fund for the Moules family.
“We are confident we will be able to help them for many years in the future,” Barber said.
The fund accepts charitable contributions in Moules’ honor and makes grants to assist programs in the community that were important to Kris, with an emphasis on corrections and criminal justice as well as Challenger Baseball and Camp Cadet programs, Barber added.
“Kris really touched a lot of lives,” Messersmith said. “Such a response to this event shows the family how much.”
Close friends gathered after the race, Messersmith said, to continue to support the family through their continuing difficult loss.
The Moules family issued a statement saying: “Kristopher was a young man who engaged in the passion of his life that was taken too early. A good son and brother, he chose the path of law enforcement work, and his family will always be proud of their son.”
The administration at the correctional facility is taking measures to improve the safety and security of its corrections officers, Messersmith said.
The organizers thanked the government officials from Luzerne County and Wilkes-Barre City who also helped in making the event possible, he added.