Runners and walkers will still have a chance to register for the Serve A Soldier 5K the morning of the event, from 7 to 7:45 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3 at the shelter house behind the Champaign Family YMCA, 191 Community Dr., Urbana.
The fourth annual Serve A Soldier 5K will begin at 8:15 a.m., preceded by an 8 a.m. opening ceremony.
The registration fee is $40 for individuals and $130 for teams of four, and free for youth 10 and under. Shirts are not guaranteed with same-day registration, but proceeds of Serve A Soldier will support:
• Veterans of Foreign Wars Spriggs-Wing Post 5451 of Urbana, which supports the Fisher House, which provides housing to families of veterans and active duty personnel while being cared for at Wright-Patterson Medical Center; send care packages to deployed service personnel from Champaign County; and help veterans in need at Christmas.
• Point Man International Ministries of Central Ohio, which is a nondenominational Christian organization that serves the spiritual and emotional needs of veterans and their families. Services include counseling for those encountering post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).
The 8 a.m. opening ceremony will feature remarks by Dr. Russ Clark, who was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service as a Marine in the Vietnam War. He served as a platoon and company commander. A former pastor of the Urbana United Methodist Church, he now serves as a volunteer chaplain and counselor for Point Man International Ministries. He uses his experience as a survivor of post-traumatic stress disorder to help other veterans.
Color guard of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Spriggs-Wing Post 5451 of Urbana will open the pre-race ceremony, UUMC Pastor Jim Lillibridge will offer the invocation, and the Urbana High School marching band will perform the National Anthem.
The course will be on the Simon Kenton Trail from the Y, through Melvin Miller Park. Trophies will be awarded to the top overall male and female finishers and top three teams, and medals will be awarded to the top three finishers of each age group.
The Serve A Soldier 5K is sponsored by Projects Unlimited of Dayton and U.S. Graphics, W Productions, Boldman Printing, the Champaign Family YMCA and the Urbana United Methodist Church.
For more information, visit the Serve A Soldier Facebook page.
Information from freelance writer Gary Schenkel.