Proceeds benefit the organization’s Hope for Veterans programs that will serve homeless and wounded veterans and their families struggling with homelessness in the year ahead.
“This year’s event is especially important as we strive to save as many as 1,000 veteran families from homelessness and despair,” said J. Michael Armstrong, chief executive officer of Community Hope. “Some are struggling with the invisible wounds of war. Others simply returned to an economy where it has been tough to make ends meet.”
The new course will take race participants past two of Community Hope’s veterans programs located on the Lyons VA campus: the newly built 62-unit Valley Brook Village and the 95-bed Hope for Veterans Transitional Housing Program. Community Hope’s Hope for Veterans Transitional Housing Program opened in 2004 as the largest transitional housing program in the state for homeless veterans and has helped over 700 veterans rebuild their lives.
The Flag Day 5K is a USA Track and Field (USATF) New Jersey Grand Prix event and runners will get 500 points for participating. Trophies will be awarded to the top male and female finishers. Medals will be given to the top three male and female finishers in eight age groups.
Individuals can also make a donation in honor or memory of a special veteran in their life to help house and support homeless and wounded veterans through the Hope for Veterans programs. These memorial tributes will be listed in the Flag Day 5K Run event journal and can be made directly through the Community Hope website at www.hopeforveterans.com. Last year, individuals donated more than $12,000 in tributes to support homeless veterans.
“This is a great opportunity for the community to come out in support of our veterans and veteran families who, after sacrificing so much for our country, now need our help,” Armstrong said.
In addition to the Run/Walk, there will also be a food station where organizers will collecting canned food for the Hope For Veterans food pantry.
DRS Technologies and Accenture are the lead underwriters and Five-Star General sponsors of the race. Additional sponsors include the Courier News as Brigadier Sponsor, and Sanofi and Novo Nordisk as Colonel Sponsors. Major Sponsors are the American Legion Post 43, Millington Savings Bank, Welcome Home Vets, and the Somerset Hills YMCA. Captain Sponsors of the race include AAA New Jersey Automobile Club, James Caldwell Post 185 American Legion, Jane Bainbridge, Mack-Cali Realty Corp, Rolling Thunder, and Sons of the American Legion Post 293.
Chairing the Flag Day Sponsorship and Marketing Committee are Catherine Owen, Venture Leader at Johnson & Johnson, and Jen Zimmer, Partner at Insigniam. Stacia McDonough of Bedminster and CEO of Neva Dolls is chairing the 2014 Volunteer Committee.
Online registration at the events page of www.hopeforveterans.com is open now through June 11 at noon. The cost to pre-register is $25 or $23 for USATF members. Day-of race registration is $30. The event begins at 7 p.m.
Community Hope is the largest nonprofit in New Jersey serving homeless veterans and at-risk veteran families. For more information on their veteran services and mental health programs or to make a donation, call 973-463-9600 ext. 303, or visit www.communityhope-nj.org.