Veterans 5K Run & Walk set for Nov. 8

Staff Report

The second annual Veterans 5K Run & Walk will be at 9 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 8, on the Rock River Bike Path, starting just south of the YMCA log lodge. This run benefits the Veterans Drop-In
Center in Rockford. Cost is $25 per participant, $10 for children age 13 and younger, with a discount for Rockford Road Runners. This includes a performance T-shirt, a chance at an award and food/beverages after the run.

Here’s your chance to get in that last competitive run of the year. Pre-run activities include a group of local veterans who will provide musical entertainment. A bugler will play, and the VFW Color Guard will perform the rifle/shotgun start.

Stick around after the run for food and beverages, and the unique “Dog Tag” awards to be given out to the top male and female runners, and also the top three female and male runners in age categories.

Packet pick-up will be prior to the run Thursday, Nov. 6, at the I.D. Pennock Family YMCA Riverview Lobby from 4-7 p.m. You may also register at this time, as well as the day of the event up to 8:30 a.m. To register in advance, visit Visit the run website at or visit on Facebook at

Lois Shores, race director, said: “We owe our vets a debt of gratitude. By raising money for the Veterans Drop-In Center with this 5K run, this is one way that we can do something healthy that will help them. It’s a unique, military-themed event with the appearance of the Color Guard and the actual shotgun start, a bugler, a military melody being sung by some local vets, and our Dog Tag Awards. We would welcome and appreciate any veterans who aren’t running or walking to come on down and cheer on everyone who came to support this amazing cause.”

About the Veterans Drop-In Center

The Veterans Drop-In Center was opened in 2006 by Executive Director Pat Ambrose after the Red Cross homeless shelter shut down. Ambrose’s mission was to provide a safe, supportive and positive social environment where all veterans and their families can give and receive help transitioning into and continuing to adapt to post-service life.

Veterans receive a nightly meal, on-site meetings, programs with the VA and Vet Center reps, the use of computers and TV, a haircut and more. On average, there are 35 vets per night. The highest number to date is 49.

Everything is provided free of charge. Veterans need only show their VA ID card or DD-214. Money raised from the Veterans 5K Run is used to help provide these services and pay rent on the building at the Jubilee Center. The goal is to buy their own building and offer ore services and more hours. Visit their website at

Come run Nov. 8 for this great cause, and a chance at the unique dog tag awards. It’s a beautiful, flat, fast course, and now U.S. A. Track & Field certified, IL14132JW. It starts just south of the YMCA log lodge. Help support the men and women who have served their country.

Posted Nov. 5, 2014

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