‘Burg runs for the brave

AJ St. John, Staff Reporter

Run For the Brave (R4B) has been dedicated to first responders that have died or been injured in the line of fire. R4B started as a fundraiser for those who served during 9/11. Over 100 participants either ran or walked during the eighth annual R4B on Oct. 6. Kittitas Valley Hospital staff, first responders in gear, ROTC members and more showed their support to the first responders that serve the county.

Meghan Rochelle

Earlier in the year, according to Elise Herman, R4B coordinator, $3,000 was donated by sponsors before the event. This year there was a local need for the fundraiser, as Deputy Ryan Thompson was killed in the line of fire. The other first responder the race was dedicated to was Officer Benito Chaves, currently in recovery. Herman explains that this year’s R4B proceeds went out to each of the officers’ families and to the Kittitas County Veterans Coalition (CVC). The CVC is a non profit organization in Ellensburg that helps veterans with transportation and life skills.

Early in the morning the volunteers greeted the participants with enthusiasm despite the cold temperatures. Before the race, the participants gathered in the field as a fire engine raised the flag.

When the horn blew, the runners and walkers made their way down the course. Even when the last racers crossed the finish line, the event had not yet concluded. A small award ceremony was held for the fastest men and women in each age division. Children assisted Herman with the raffle drawing towards the end of the event. Also, according to Herman good feelings and the support for the first responders in Kittitas County went around during R4B. 

“I think it’s wonderful for people to see young people in ROTC,” said  Herman. “It’s a way for the community to thank first responders and the military.” 

Herman mentioned the Army ROTC students that show their support in R4B. The young participants are a great example of showing support in the community. Herman also said that the run is to support the responders from 9/11 and local responders.

Participant Jared Cloud, a senior, has ran R4B for three years  now. 

“It’s a good event for all of the ROTC to come out and do something outside the program together,” said Cloud. “It’s good community involvement and all the money goes to a good cause.”

Tiffany Stepanoff from the Kittitas Valley Hospital  team said R4B is “ a great way to get the community together.”

Stepanoff loves running and the event is another way for her to get in shape. Her reason for coming out, she said, is to support those who serve in Kittitas County. 

Junior Meyr Hamilton riding his unicycle wanted to bring smiles to other participants. As a student from CWU, Hamilton went out with others to support the community. 

 Josh Deherrera, firefighter and paramedic, was off duty. He came out with the crew that was on duty to raise the ladder. Deherrera ran alongside his colleagues after they raised the flag.

For Herman, R4B is a way for the community to say thank you to those serving all year long.