By AMANDA KIMBLE
Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 234 is gearing up for a race. The nonprofit organization will host a 5K and fun run July 4, celebrating the nation’s independence with an event aimed at raising funds for the men and women who put their lives, time and family on the line to protect American freedom.
Hosting races is common for DAV chapters across the nation, but Chapter 234 Commander Harry Woodward said it’s a first for Stephenville.
“We felt Independence Day was the perfect time to host our first race benefiting local military veterans and their families,” Commander Woodward said.
The DAV Stephenville Firecracker 5K and Fun Run kicks off local July 4 festivities and also kick starts a long-term project for the local organization.
“We have a two-to-five-year plan of establishing local transitional housing for our veterans who are just coming out of the military,” Commander Woodward said. “We’ll set aside funds raised from the 5k and fun run for those capital improvements, including the purchasing of land and building of homes.”
During the last fiscal year, Chapter 234 assisted multiple veterans with housing, including two families.
“One was a family of five and the other was family of eight,” Woodward said. “We also provided assistance to three homeless veterans.”
The race day schedule includes check-in from 6:30-7:15 a.m., and the race begins at 7:30. The start and finish lines are at the large pavilion at Stephenville City Park.
The race is expected to end shortly before the city’s July 4 parade, which precedes a full day of family-friendly activities, including the BBQ, Bands and Bottle Rockets on the Bosque festival, TexStar Ford Summer Concert Series and the annual fireworks display.
There is a $30 race fee for adults participating in the 5K and a $20 fee for participants 17 years old and younger prior to July 4. The fun run fee is $20. All fees will increase by $5 on July 4. Woodward said entry fees must be received by June 22 for participants to be guaranteed an event t-shirt.
Individuals who would like to support the transitional housing project but don’t want to participate in the race can purchase a t-shirt or make a monetary donation using any of the following methods:
Register online at runsignup.com/Race/Events/TX/Stephenville/StephenvilleFirecracker5K, where there’s an additional $2.50 fee.
Participants who prefer to pay with cash, check or money order can do so in person 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Tuesday or Thursday at the Stephenville DAV office at 408 East Road.
Registration forms, attached to this story, can also be mailed to DAV Chapter 234, P.O. Box 613 Stephenville, TX 76401.
Race day volunteers are also needed. Call the DAV for information on how you can provide assistance.
Meanwhile. Woodward is calling on local businesses and organizations to serve as race sponsors by donating $250-$1,000. More information on race registration or sponsorship packages can be obtained by calling the DAV office at (254) 918-5600 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find the event on Facebook at facebook.com/events/1097676550294595/