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Columbine shooting survivor in Utah to hold Saturday fundraiser for victims in Boston

Published: Friday, April 19 2013 1:45 p.m. MDT

Nikki Spurgiesz, a Columbine High School shooting survivor, walks in Nielsen's Grove in Orem Friday, April 19, 2013. She will hold a fundraiser April 20 to benefit victims of the Boston bombings.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

OREM — A woman who survived the Columbine High School shootings says she understands how the victims in Boston must feel, and she wants to do something to show them there are still a lot of good people in the world.

Saturday marks the 14-year-anniversary of the Columbine shootings in Colorado, and Nikki Spurgiesz, 30, said still today she has nightmares about being in the school cafeteria when two classmates started shooting.

“All of a sudden we are running. People are saying people are shooting at you, and you have no idea if you are going to be shot in the back or what’s going on,” Spurgiesz said. “It’s just a terror that, you know, it’s hard to understand if you’ve never been through something like that.”

Spurgiesz said the victims in the Boston bombings, like her, will relive the terrorizing moments for the rest of their lives; however, she also remembers in the days after the shootings the outpouring of love and support from her community and from around the nation.

“I wanted to make it my mission that if anyone had to go through something hard, we could show them there are still a lot of good people, there’s still a lot of people who care,” she said.

Spurgiesz works in the fitness industry and has worked at several Boston Marathons. She said she had close friends at the race this year at the finish line when the bombs exploded.

As a way to remember the victims in the Columbine tragedy and to help victims in Boston, Spurgiesz has organized a community workout in Orem Saturday at 9 a.m. at Nielson’s Grove Park at 1931 S. Sandhill Road, with all proceeds going to the “One Fund Boston.”

Spurgiesz will lead the hour-long workout herself. She’s asking people to show up and donate $10 or whatever people can to participate. And even if someone isn’t physically up to a tough workout, she said people can still show up, donate and just walk around the park.

The event will happen rain or shine, and water will be provided.

“If every community, if everyone does a little bit of something it shows them how many good people there are in this world and how much good we can do,” she said.

After high school Spurgiesz came to Utah to attend BYU. She recently moved back to Utah and lives in Utah County.

Email: rjeppesen@desnews.com

Twitter: RJENEWS

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