WARRENSBURG — More than 240 runners and walkers registered to participate in the 11th annual Veterans Assistance League (VAL) “Run for Freedom” 5K, 10K and Poker Walk at Missouri Veterans Home~Warrensburg on Sept. 28. Senator David Pearce welcomed guests and served as the starting line race official and Representative Denny Hoskins participated in the 5K run.
Through record attendance, as well as unprecedented sponsorship support, the event raised more than $24,800 in proceeds. Money raised will be used to purchase a second Go Anywhere Tandem bicycle, and as a contribution to VAL’s long term endowment fund. The purchase of a second bicycle will allow the Recreation Therapy Staff to take more of the Home’s 200 Veterans out for scenic rides around the neighborhood. Volunteers and Veterans’ family members are also invited to learn how to use the bicycle. “The rain was certainly not part of the plan, but we had fun joking around that the race had turned into a mud run,” said Jen Eaton, Communications Coordinator. “All kidding aside though, we’re incredibly grateful that the crowd’s enthusiasm and our staff and volunteers’ dedication to this important cause ensured the event was a hit despite the weather.”
Sarah Mallott, Vice President of Programs of the UCM chapter of Delta Zeta Sorority organized 60 members to serve as volunteer course monitors for the race.
“It was such an honor to volunteer at this event again,” she noted. “When the rain started to fall, I was nervous, quickly realized we were doing this for our Veterans who have been in much worse situations than a little rain. Helping on a rainy Saturday morning was the least we could do.”
Missouri Veterans Home~Warrensburg Administrator Eric Endsley lauded the event team members who not only expeditiously moved awards and refreshments inside when the rain hit, but also had the quick foresight to hand out blankets and hot chocolate to wet runners and walkers at the end.
“We continue to be blessed by unparalleled community support,” Endsley added. “We want our participants and sponsors to know that their contributions are incredibly important. A state budget only goes so far, and the extras VAL supplies make a world of difference for our Heroes.”
VAL is the sole nonprofit dedicated to providing for the social, moral, physical and educational welfare of Veterans living at MVH~Warrensburg. VAL’s all volunteer board ensures there are no administrative fees and all monies raised directly benefit the Veterans. Photos submitted.