Nearly 200 runners were pounding the pavement and sweating for a cause in the early morning hours of Sept. 15 at Hewlett Point Beach in Bay Park as Assemblyman Brian Curran hosted his third annual Run For Heroes 5K.
The race raised more than $30,000 for local veterans organizations, which will be split between the Lynbrook Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts, the East Rockaway VFW and the Malverne, Rockville Centre and Baldwin American Legion posts.
“The reason why we’re doing it is because these posts have a tough time generating funds and staying open,” said Curran, a Lynbrook resident, “and this goes a long way in keeping these posts open for those who served this country.”
Curran said that funds were generated by entry fees and sponsorships, and he thanked the many businesses that donated to the cause. It cost $25 to register before the day of the race and $35 on the day of, and $15 for people who were 14 and under. Sponsorship costs ranged from $100 to $1,000.
Residents and veterans from Malverne, East Rockaway, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Oceanside and Baldwin took part in the event, which Curran said was open to all veterans posts in the 21st Assembly District.
Hank Speicher, the commander for the Lynbrook American Legion, expressed his gratitude toward Curran and the community. “He is truly a man that supports our veterans and we thank him,” Speicher said of Curran. “We also appreciate the community who came out to support our veterans by participating in the run and walk, and the many businesses and others that contributed to the cause.”
Several veterans presented the country’s colors to start the event, and members of the Leathernecks MC New York Chapter led the runners in a cavalcade of motorcycles.
This year’s race had the most runners in the event’s history, Curran said.“It’s a great feeling every year,” he added. “For many of these posts, I’ve been told, it’s the largest fundraiser of the year.”