Veterans, active duty servicemen and women, and their families will benefit from a 5K walk and run to be held Labor Day weekend, Saturday, Sept. 3, in Urbana. The fourth annual Serve A Soldier 5K will begin at 8:15 a.m. at the Champaign Family YMCA, 191 Community Dr.
Pre-registration for Serve A Soldier is open to walkers and runners through August 23, online at keysports.net and through paper registration forms available at Urbana United Methodist Church, 238 N. Main St., Urbana (937-653-3741) or at the Champaign Family YMCA.
Pre-registration entry fee through August 23 (T-shirt included) is $35 for individuals and $115 for teams of four. Registration for children under 10 is free (without shirt).
Entry fee 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.
Serve A Soldier proceeds will support:
• Veterans of Foreign Wars Spriggs-Wing Post 5451 of Urbana, which will support the Fisher House, which provides housing to families of veterans and active duty personnel while being cared for at Wright-Patterson Medical Center; sends care packages to deployed service personnel from Champaign County; and helps 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 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. 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 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.
Serve A Soldier 5K
Date: Saturday, Sept. 3
Location: Champaign Family YMCA, Urbana
Race day registration: 7-7:45 a.m.
Opening ceremony: 8 a.m.
Start: 8:15 a.m.
Preregistration: at keysports.net through Aug. 23
Information submitted by event organizers.