This golfing trio from Avon gave up their tee time Saturday morning for the gun time that started My Best Friend’s 5k Road Race at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. Why would they make such a sacrifice? To help those who sacrificed for us while serving in the military or as first responders. The second annual 5k event was an event to raise awareness for Veterans Base Camp, a new 501‘(c) 3 organization in Chaplin, CT with the goal to support wellness, education, training, and employment needs for Veterans and First Responders.
Veterans Base Camp was founded in 2013 by area businessmen and veterans, Darrell Chaloult and Bruce Maneeley. The partners collaborate with volunteers and private, government and community organizations to offer assistance to veterans who wish to gain competitive career skills and employment opportunities in fields such as agriculture, food services, renewable energy, fiber optics, IT, and other essential skills. Bi-weekly meetings are held to establish relationships among the veterans and plan opportunities, access and secure benefits necessary to achieve their wellness and economic goals.
Where was their fourth player? Golfers typically go out in foursomes….Their fourth player was Jeff Brighenti, owner of Avon Plumbing and Heating. Although Jeff didn’t run, he showed his support as a Silver Level sponsor for the second year in a row.
The Gold Sponsor for the race was Freedom Boat Clubs of Connecticut. Peter DeVilbiss, CEO of the Connecticut and New York locations included a two-hour sunset cruise as a raffle prize. A young volunteer firefighter walked away the winner. Other raffle prizes included one-month memberships to Healthtrax of Avon, Glastonbury and Enfield, three-month memberships to Anytime Fitness in Granby, gift certificates to Table570, @The Barn, and Han Asian, New Balance of Of Avon, and Grassroots Ice Cream in Granby.
The first to cross the finish line was young Zachary Stoddard of Pomfret with a time of 22:32:99 followed closely by Olivia Rustic of Burlington fifteen seconds later. Most returning runners that ran last year for the first time, improved their times. The day was a cool 50 degrees and the rain held off until after the race was over – perfect running weather! For complete race results see RunSignUp.com.
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church would like to thank all the sponsors and participants in supporting this event. For more information on Veterans Base Camp and their programs go to www.veteransbasecamp.org or check them out on Facebook.