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Hundreds to gather in memory of Eric Zapata

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Hundreds of people will gather Saturday to keep the memory of a fallen Kalamazoo Public Safety officer running strong.

Three years ago Friday, Officer Eric Zapata was shot and killed while responding to a call in Kalamazoo's Edison Neighborhood.

In honor of his legacy, friends and family created the Eric Zapata Memorial Foundation to give scholarships to aspiring law enforcement officers, and training to those already on the job, in hopes of preventing future deaths in the line of duty.

Friday night, the foundation started getting things ready and registering runners for Saturday's Annual E-Z Memorial 5K, one of its big fundraisers.

The race starts at 9:00 a.m. at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Registration started Friday night, but will also be going on Saturday morning from 7:00 to 8:30 a.m.

More than 600 people have already registered.

Dogs are also welcome on the course, as long as they're leashed.

The SPCA is sponsoring water stations for your four legged friends.

And later on in the day, you can hit up a Kalamazoo watering hole to support the foundation as well.

Boatyard Brewing created a special beer called E-Z Ale that will be tapped at the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange in downtown Kalamazoo at 4:00 p.m.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the Zapata Memorial Foundation.