Whatever happened to ... Parents plan Zoe's Rainbow Dash in memory of their daughter

Whatever happened to ... Parents plan Zoe's Rainbow Dash in memory of their daughter

June 2nd, 2013 by Shelly Bradbury in Local Regional News

Ten-year-old Zoe McDonough died July 5, 2012, in a boating accident on Lake Chickamauga.

Ten-year-old Zoe McDonough died July 5, 2012, in...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Q. Whatever happened to Brett McDonough, whose mother and daughter died in a Chickamauga Lake boating accident on July 5 last year?

A. A fun holiday weekend turned into a nightmare for the McDonough family when their pontoon boat was caught in a surprise storm and flipped end-over-end, dumping a dozen people into Chickamauga Lake on July 5, 2012.

Ten people made it safely to shore, but Zoe McDonough, 10, and her grandmother, Susan McDonough, 66, were pulled from the water unconscious and died in the hospital the next day.

In the months since, Brett and his wife, Leah, started the Zoe McDonough Foundation to raise money for Zoe's favorite charities. The foundation's major annual fundraiser will be Zoe's Rainbow Dash -- a 5K race in which participants are plastered in colorful powder and spray as they run -- which kicks off at 8 a.m. July 4 at Hamilton Place mall.

The McDonoughs designed the event to honor their daughter.

"I know for sure that Zoe would absolutely love it," Brett said. "She's all about a fun time and making everybody happy. She'd absolutely love the whole thing."

About 2,500 people are expected to attend the race. The family has been selling T-shirts, finding sponsors and placing ads to get the word out. They've put months of work into planning the memorial fundraiser.

"I knew it would be a mountain of an event to plan," Brett said. "The easy part is dreaming it up. The hard part is when you go to put the plan in action. But it's definitely coming together really well."

For more information on the race, visit zoesrainbowdash.com

This update was written by staff writer Shelly Bradbury. Contact her at sbradbury @timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6525. If you have an idea for Whatever happened to, email news@timesfreepress.com.