Run for the Brave 5k fundraises for veterans

Organizers hope to provide support for those in need


Omar Benitez

Community members race through park and table for 5k run for the Brave.

Runners, joggers and walkers alike filled the Ellensburg Rotary Park for the ninth annual Run for the Brave 5k for the first time since 2019. The five kilometer run around the park on Oct. 1 served as a fundraiser for the Kittitas County Veterans Coalition.

Runners of all ages participated in the race; children to adults and everything in between showed up to show their support for local veterans.

Veterans from the county coalition came out to cheer on participants.

“This demonstrates the strength of the community, people getting together working collectively toward projects,” said veteran John Swords.

Swords, a member of the coalition, said proceeds from the tickets sold at the event go to help the coalition provide food and fuel vouchers for veterans in need. Swords said events like this also benefit them in raising awareness for veterans in need everywhere.

This year was the first time the event was hosted by the Ellensburg Area Swim Team (EAST). EAST Vice President Jaymi Williams said she was offered the opportunity to host this year and immediately jumped on it.

The event was previously hosted by Elise Hermann and her daughter for a few years until the swim team took over.

“Elise came to us and said ‘Hey, would you like this opportunity to take it over and also be able to raise money for the youth center in the valley?’ We were like absolutely,” Williams said. “We want to serve both causes.”

This year, the event doubled as a fundraiser for both the veterans coalition and local youth swimmers. Williams said the funds will help the team keep going by covering costs such as pool fees, paying coaches and other overhead costs.

The event closed out with several prize giveaways that were raffled off after the run, including shirts, mugs, hats, a skateboard and much more.

EAST Board President and event organizer Kelly Pritchett said her favorite part about the race was just seeing everyone together for each other.

“It’s an amazing group effort for this type of event,” Pritchett said. “I’m just amazed at how the community comes together for something like this.”

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  • Community members run during the 5k Run for the Brave.

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