06 Nov Record-Setting VA 5K Benefits Veterans
The 2023 VA 5K set records for number of participants and sponsors for the 8th annual event, held November 5 on the VA’s Franklin R. Sousley campus in Lexington. The fundraiser benefits the Lexington Fisher House and the Lexington VA Health Care System. The weather was beautiful with a cloudless sky and temperatures in the mid-60’s. Mayor Linda Gorton proclaimed the day VA 5K day in Lexington. The Kentucky Army National Guard landed a Black Hawk helicopter in the main parking lot that people could get a closeup look inside. The Marine Corps Reserve lined the race route with military vehicles. The organizing sponsors included the Columbia Gas NiVets Employee Resource Group, the NiSource Charitable Foundation and the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government’s Division of Community Corrections. The Association of the U.S. Army, Cpl. Bill McMillan Chapter in Lexington recruited a number of JROTC and ROTC teams to take part in the event. McConathy Rescue Farm in Lexington brought a number of horses to the event for children and adults to enjoy. ‘Hank the Horse’ from Rescues for Hank’s Sake, was back for a second straight year and once again was a favorite among the event participants. Once again Kelly Sheehan, from Charging Forward for America, led the group of runners along the race route on his motorcycle. The U.S. Naval Sea Cadets Corps presented the colors. Country music star George Molton, from Olive Hill, Kentucky, sang a stirring rendition of the National Anthem. A number of sponsors and veterans service organizations had information booths set up near the start/finish line. One of the race sponsor’s, Semper Tek, Inc., a service-disabled veteran owned business based in Lexington, made a special check presentation after the race. Founder and president Scott Matheny presented a check for $15,000 to the Friends of Lexington Fisher House to commemorate the company’s 15th anniversary. Two branches of another race sponsor, City National Bank, presented two post-race checks totaling $1,154 in support of the Lexington Fisher House. The money was raised through community fundraisers, such as a bake sale. Co-race director, Susan Murray, from Columbia Gas of Kentucky, was given special recognition and an award for being the brain child of this annual event, and leading its growth to what it is today. Capt. Chuck Burton, from LFUCG Community Corrections, served as this year‘s other co-race director. Our heartfelt thanks to all of the event sponsors, participants, and volunteers.