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Event to memorialize fallen military members

Oct 04 2019
Travis Crum |Herald Dispatch

HUNTINGTON — Runners and walkers will have a chance to hit the pavement for a worthy cause this Saturday for a 5K race sponsored by the West Virginia Gold Star Mothers in Barboursville.

With every $20 entrance fee into the race, the Gold Star Mothers will be able to purchase a memorial wreath for fallen service members buried at Spring Hill Cemetery for ceremonies in December.

The 5K will kick off at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Barboursville Park lake.

The third annual Run to Salute Gold Star Families 5K/1 Mile Memory Walk is the Gold Star Mothers’ biggest fundraiser in the county each year, said Brenda Thomas, chaplain. The term Gold Star describes a family member who has lost a loved one in military service.

All proceeds from the race will go to Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit organization that remembers fallen service members in wreath-laying ceremonies every December.

Thomas said getting the word out about the race is important to her because in some years, the Gold Star Mothers have not had enough wreaths for all the necessary burial plots at Spring Hill Cemetery.

Anyone interested in running the 5K or walking the 1-mile memory walk may register at People may also register Saturday beginning at 7:30 a.m. At 8:30 a.m. on race day, the Gold Star Mothers will recite the national anthem and hold prayer before the beginning of the race.

The 5K course starts at 9 a.m. at the Barboursville Park lake and will make a left toward the soccer fields.

A turnaround station and water station will be set up this year. Runners return to the finish line at the lake.

The 1-mile walk will start after the 5K has finished, and participants will walk one lap around the lake.

Trophies will be given to the top overall male and female finishers, with first-place trophies and second-place medals in each age group for male and female. Entry fees will be $25 the day of the race.

“If people cannot participate, they can donate $15 to Gold Star Mothers of West Virginia and that $15 will purchase a wreath for Wreaths Across America,” Thomas said.