Raksha Walk signs

Signs posted at the Raksha 5K Run/Walk For Distraction Free Driving encourage people to drive distraction-free.

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The Shreya R. Dixit Memorial Foundation hosted its 11th annual Raksha 5K Run/Walk For Distraction-Free Driving, Saturday, Aug. 13, at Purgatory Creek Park.

Wesley, Wendell

Wesley Stockwell of Savage and Wendell Stockwell of Burnsville pose for a photo before the Raksha Walk.

The event featured a 5K run, chances for people to sign pledges to drive distraction-free, remarks from Pat Cooper of Federated Insurance, Mike Hanson from the Office of Traffic Safety and John Mosey of NorthstarMLS, and a vigil walk. According to race organizers, the event had its largest turnout with about 250 people who registered.

Raksha Walk T-shirts

Photos from previous Raksha Walk events are on display under the Purgatory Creek Park pavilion. 

Bianca, Megan

Incoming Eden Prairie High School seniors Bianca Byfield and Megan Lawler were among the volunteers at the Raksha Walk. 

The foundation was created in 2008 in memory of 19-year-old Shreya Dixit, who was killed while riding as a passenger in a crash caused by a distracted driver on Nov. 1, 2007.

Anuhya, Kelly, Amulya

From right, Anuhya Kakumanu of Eden Prairie, Kelly Swanson of St. Paul and Amulya Kakumanu of Eden Prairie read the stories of people who died after drunken driving and distracted driving crashes. 

2018 Raksha Walk

Raksha 5K Run/Walk For Distraction Free Driving participants take off at the start of the race, Aug. 11, at Purgatory Creek Park.

The Raksha Walk is part of the foundation’s mission of “transforming the driving culure through community engagement. The ultimate goal is to make distraction-free driving as an integral part of healthy living,” according to a news release.

Sia, Emily

Sia Lowther and Emily Rezende pose for a photo at the Raksha Walk.

Minnesotans for Safe Driving display

Nina Davare and Bharati Suryawanshi, both of Eden Prairie, check out a wrecked car provided by Minnesotans for Safe Driving. The display included the story about the teen driver who died after crashing the Ford Focus. 

Peggy, Vijay

Peggy LePage of Coon Rapids chats with Vijay Dixit, chairman of the Shreya R. Dixit Memorial Foundation’s board. LePage said her friend and co-worker, Rob Burik, was killed in a distracted driving crash in February. His car was struck from behind by a car traveling over 60 mph as Burik was stopped for a red light.

Pat Cooper

Pat Cooper from Federated Insurance addresses Raksha Walk attendees on Aug. 11. 

Rakhi

Raksha 5K Run/Walk For Distraction Free Driving attendees tie rakhis around the wrist of someone near them while taking a pledge to drive distraction-free. During the Indian festival of Raksha Bandhan, a sister will tie a rakhi around their brother’s hand as part of a promise to protect him, and the brother then promises to protect their sister.

Vigil

Community members take a walk during the vigil portion of the Raksha Walk on Aug. 11.