The third annual Serve A Soldier 5K walk and run, to be held Saturday, Sept. 5, in Urbana, will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), which aids injured service members and their families. The event, coordinated by the Urbana United Methodist Church, will begin and end at the Champaign Family YMCA, 191 Community Drive.
Runners and walkers are guaranteed shirts when they register in advance, through Aug. 23, at the discounted rates of $35 for individuals and $115 for teams of four – online at www.keysports.net or with registration forms available at Urbana United Methodist Church, 238 N. Main St, (937-653-3741), or at the Champaign Family YMCA.
Cost to register the day of the event, 7 to 7:45 a.m., will be $40 for individuals and $130 for teams. Shirts will not be guaranteed. Registration for children under 10 is free (without shirt).
The race will start at 8:15 a.m., preceded by an opening ceremony at 8 a.m. to recognize the sacrifice of veterans. The course will be on the Simon Kenton Trail 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 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, a faith-based support group for former and current military men and women. 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 Serve A Soldier 5K is sponsored by Projects Unlimited of Dayton, U.S. Graphics and W Productions of Urbana, and the Urbana United Methodist Church.
The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a national, nonpartisan organization, provides a wide range of services to empower and encourage injured veterans and their families.
More than 47,000 servicemen and women have been physically injured in recent military conflicts, according to WWP. In addition, as many as 400,000 service members have suffered invisible wounds, including combat-related stress, major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Another 320,000 are believed to have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment.