‘Light Up the Night’ 5K to Benefit Our House

Inviting Arkansas

In memory of her father, Jennings Osborne, Breezy Osborne- Wingfield is carrying on his legacy of compassion and generosity. She’s starting with the Light Up the Night 5K on December 10.

Story by Jillian McGehee

As a girl during the holiday season, Breezy Osborne-Wingfield would do her best to have her studies finished before 5 in the evening. That marked the time her family would flip the switch to turn on the millions of bright red lights that blanketed their house on Cantrell. A larger than life lights display was just one gesture established by Breezy’s father, Jennings Osborne.

People around the state and beyond were saddened after his untimely death in July. He left positive impressions on so many lives, with the largest impact quite possibly on his daughter. While she misses her “Dadoo” more than words can describe, Breezy is doing what she can to continue his legacy of benevolent giving.

After turning on the lights each night, Breezy remembers greeting visitors until after 10. “It didn’t matter how cold it was outside, there was an awe-inspiring warmth under the red glow of lights,” she says. Complaints from neighbors put an end to the bright lights exhibit, but Breezy carries the good memories over the disputes, such as when a blind man visited the display. “I recall that moment so vividly as it made me realize at such a young age what an impact these simple but powerful bulbs of light had on everyone. Dad always said that the time people spent in their cars waiting to see the display might have been the only family time anyone got to spend together. Dad always had a different way of looking at things, and I am so grateful I experienced his views, and most of all that I remember them as I make decisions in my own life.”

The lights live on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios through the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Breezy is paying homage to her dad and their love of lights with the Light Up the Night 5K. At 5 p.m. on December 10, participants (children and pets included) are running and walking through a decked out course from the River Market to the state Capitol and back. “As many know, my father shared not only holiday lights with thousands but also his generosity with random acts of kindness,” Breezy says.

“My mom and I have come to learn that he did many things without public knowledge or even ours.” He would do things like help families pay for funeral expenses and assist with children’s medical bills. With that in mind, proceeds from the first Light Up the Night 5K will go toward Our House Shelter for the Working Homeless and the Little Rock Animal Village.

“Carrying on the tradition he created with random acts of kindness will hopefully lead to many charities benefiting from our efforts,” Breezy adds.

When her dad passed, Breezy says part of her was overwhelmed with how to keep his legacy alive. “But it came to me just as quickly that a run/walk would be ideal for many reasons,” she says.

“Activity would have been something vital in my dad’s life. He tried to be active many times, but his heart condition would slow him down. It’s also an event that can involve everyone however they’d like to participate, including bringing children of all ages and pets of all kinds. We are huge animal lovers!”

After graduating from Mount St. Mary Academy in 1998, Breezy attended the University of Central Arkansas, where she graduated in 2003 with a degree in kinesiology with emphasis in exercise science. If she’s not wondering what her chef of a husband, Tristan, is cooking up for dinner, playing with their pups, hiking Pinnacle Mountain, hanging out with friends or sharing ice cream with her mom, it’s a safe bet that Breezy can be found at Barefoot Studio.

In 2009, she became the third owner of the yoga studio. She first dabbled in yoga in 1998 but didn’t begin a consistent practice until 2005 at Barefoot. She even studied under various teachers while living in Las Vegas for a couple of years. Weight management was her initial draw, but yoga has become so much more.

“It has been the saving tool that helped me gain self awareness and acceptance, manage my emotional and physical stress, all while gaining physical strength, endurance and flexibility. What I learned during my practice, I took off the mat into daily life and started taking care of myself. I knew immediately that I wanted to teach yoga, own a studio and share with others what yoga had done for me.”

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