Her Legacy of Love: LoveLikeAly Fun Run

By Sam Ekstedt

March, 18th 2024

Last year, in January of 2023, the halls of HBHS were bright with purple ribbons. The front of the student center was utterly overwhelmed with beautiful flowers and colorful purple memorials. People were crying together and doing their best to comfort each other despite how difficult of a tragedy it was to comprehend. We had lost one of our own and missing this outpouring of love was impossible. Aly West was the Freshman Cheer Captain whose life and presence forever left a mark on HBHS and on those who knew her. 


The Love Like Aly Wellness Center was created in early October last year to continue this legacy that Aly left behind. But not just anyone leaves this kind of ripple effect on the world. Lisa Rice, the Wellness Center's Executive Director and a family friend who considered Aly like one of her own children, said, "She just had this rare quality about her that you don't find in people very often. I always said she cracked the code to what it means to be a good human at a very, very, very early age." 


Watch the 2024 inaugural LoveLikeAly Fun Run highlights.


This year, on March 2nd at HBHS' Cap Sheue Field, the Wellness Center held its first annual community fundraising event, the LoveLikeAly Fun Run. The Fun Run featured dozens of kind and engaging activities and community partnerships like the Orange County Animal Allies booth, where visitors could pet therapy dogs, and a words of affirmation booth, where people could write heartfelt messages to each other. 


Even popular retailers like Tillys and Lululemon made an appearance. About the response from the community, Rice expressed gratitude saying, "They were very generous and supportive of our cause and event. The right people show up at the right times, and it's just kind of trusting it." But it wasn't just local organizations and companies that showed their support for the LoveLikeAly Fun Run.  Aly's friends and their friends came together to uplift this event and try to help in any way they could. Touched by HBHS and Edison student body's response, Rice remarked, "We were so overwhelmed with how the Huntington Beach High School and Edison High School kids really stepped up and wanted to help." 




Photo Provided by Elisa Rodriguez


The LoveLikeAly Fun Run is undoubtedly not the end of what the Love Like Aly Wellness Center plans to do. Every Monday at 4:30 PM, the Wellness Center has been hosting free yoga and kickboxing classes. The classes alternate every Monday and are welcoming to any level of experience. It's incredible what they are accomplishing already, so check out the classes and see for yourself. Any information about these classes can be found on the Love Like Aly Wellness Center's Instagram and Website. 


Rice explains that these classes are just the first step in the Wellness Center's mission, where they aim to promote holistic wellness in teens: "... physical health, your body which includes nutrition and wellness. Second is your mental wellness. Stress, anxiety, all those things. The third is what I call Spiritual and soul wellness. You need to feed and care for your spiritual soul.”


The Love Like Aly Fun Run was a massive success and a true collaboration of love, which is everything Aly West stood for. The community came together to honor her legacy and stand in solidarity in both grief and hope for a brighter future. That day, torrential rain was forecasted, but that event only saw sunshine. In the end, the sky let out a little rain when it was time to go, and an idyllic rainbow appeared over the stadium. Rice remembered, "I think we were all pretty emotional about it because we knew where it came from." 




Photo provided by Lisa Rice


Click Here to Donate Directly to the Love Like Aly Wellness Center!