The community of Ladera Ranch hosted its first-ever 9/11 Heroes Run last weekend. The 5k charity race developed by the Travis Manion Foundation event is held annually in different communities throughout the country, with several events held in other countries.
According the foundation, an estimated 25,000 runners, 50,000 attendees and 2,000 volunteers participated in events held across the country and around the world last year. This year, the foundation has grown the event to encompass nearly 50 races and hopes to see close to 100,000 individuals turn out on race day. The foundation aim supports veterans, their families, and the families of fallen service members by providing emergency assistance, scholarships, and other direct financial support.
The Travis Manion Foundation was created by Janet Manion in remembrance of her only son, Marine 1st Lieutenant Travis Manion, who was killed by sniper fire in Fallujah, Iraq, during his second tour of duty. Lt. Manion was posthumously awarded both the Silver Star and the Bronze Star with Valor. The 9/11 Heroes Run was inspired by Lt. Manion’s visit to Rescue Team One in New York City in 2007, shortly before he was killed in action.
The event in Ladera Ranch was held Sept. 9. Sponsors for the event included CrossFit Ethos gym, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Selma’s Chicago Pizzeria. Proceeds from the event will go to the Travis Manion Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, and other local organizations.
Apart from the five-kilometer race, the event also hosted a one-kilometer ‘fun run.’ Several family friendly, interactive displays hosted by the Marine Corps and local fire and police stations helped to create a fun atmosphere for small children.
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