‘I Believe I Can Fly’ 5K to benefit The Arms ForcesWritten by Staff Reports | | email@example.com
By Margaret Dziubek
As the 180th Air National Guard Fighter Wing gathers for its monthly drill, the community is invited to support local nonprofit The Arms Forces at its first ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ 5K walk/run.
The event’s unique course will take participants around the 180th Air National Guard Base and the Toledo Express Airport. The event begins with check-in at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 5 at the Air Freight Building off Route 20A at Air Cargo Parkway East in Swanton, and the race kicks off at 9 a.m. Runners, walkers and spectators are all encouraged to participate.
Maumee-based nonprofit The Arms Forces was founded by Pam Hays, a survivor of traumatic brain injury eager to help make health and social services more readily available to veterans who have undergone similar traumas.
The Arms Forces advocates on behalf of veterans, fights stigmas surrounding traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and provides support to veterans and their families struggling with the “invisible wounds” of war.
National Guard soldiers are being encouraged to run side by side with the community at this event. Hays wants to make sure veterans aren’t just supported by their fellow soldiers, but also by civilians.
“We want to show the veterans that they are cared about and loved in their community, and a race just seems to fit so much with the work we do,” said Hays, a Toledo Free Press columnist. “We are interested in helping people to believe in themselves.”
The day’s festivities will include a costume contest. Participants or spectators dressed as pilots, flight attendants, military personnel or in any other aviation or patriotically themed outfit will have chances to win prizes. Each race participant will also be entered for a chance to win up to $1,000 worth of airline tickets.
Registration for the race is open through Oct. 4, with early discounted registration ending Sept. 29. There will be a post-race celebration following the event. For more information, visit www.thearmsforces.org/5k/.