FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, April 12, 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Rachel Lott, Marketing Chair, (260) 267-7266, firstname.lastname@example.org
RUNWAY RACE SUPPORTS LOCAL MILITARY FAMILIES IN NEED
Fifth Annual Race For the Warrior raises money for the Military Support Fund
FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Race For the Warrior, to be held April 27 at Fort Wayne International Airport, is the Northeast Indiana Base Community Council’s (NIBCC) primary annual fundraiser for the Military Support Fund. Established in 2012, the fund has provided grants to more than 1200 soldiers, veterans and their family members, totaling approximately $140,000 in emergency financial support.
The fund was created to fill the gap some service members may encounter after returning from a deployment, experiencing a layoff, or facing other financial crises.
“When we created the Military Support Fund, we wanted to help military families keep their lights on, pay their rent or mortage, and keep their families together in the event of urgent financial crisis,” Patrick Dooley, NIBCC president, said. “The one-time support we provide has given folks that little extra they need to avoid those life-altering situations.”
In December 2018, the military support fund helped keep a family together on Christmas Eve. Along with his wife and young children, a soldier was being evicted from his home, which would have resulted in alternative custody arrangements for the kids due to homelessness. In partnership with the Associated Churches, the Military Support Fund paid for a temporary place for the family to stay and connected them resources to help them get back on their feet.
“Our service men and women, who give so much for our families to enjoy freedom, should never have to fear losing their children or any similar devastating situation due to financial hardship,” Garry Pook, NIBCC board member and Associated Churches director of finance, said. “The Military Support Fund provides critical assistance in such unfortunate circumstances.”
Local military leaders have recognized the support given by the Military Support Fund.
“After our unit’s return from extended training in preparation for deployment, I learned that several
soldiers in my platoon were in dire financial situations, some even at risk of losing their homes due to gaps in civilian pay and unusual expenses like extra childcare associated with their time away for duty,” a local platoon sergeant said. “A member of the Military Support Fund committee met with soldiers individually to assist with grant applications and to educate them about other local resources to immediately help them through their crisis. In one week alone, seven of our soldiers were awarded grants. The payments from the fund were critically needed to help our soldiers keep the lights on and keep their families under one roof.”
In addition to grants, the NIBCC helps connect military families to needed resources to provide additional and longer-term assistance. These connections are often made directly by NIBCC board members like Tammy Kelly, immediate past president. After a local woman’s son, who served in the Indiana Air National Guard, attempted suicide last fall, Kelly assisted in connecting the family to additional resources after they received a grant from the Military Support Fund.
“It was through Tammy I got the information I needed to qualify [my son] for Tricare insurance available to him through his service in the Indiana National Guard,” a local woman said. “I cannot express strongly enough what a difference this had made for [him]. Without this support, he would now likely be in a nursing home without the rehabilitation he needed to get better and quite possibly still would not be speaking or walking.”
Brig. Gen. Patrick Renwick sees the support provided by the Military Support Fund as mission critical, because it minimizes excessive stress and distraction for soldiers.
“My personal thanks go out to those who extend a helping hand and support a unit member through tough times, helping our Airmen stay resilient and focused on the mission,” Renwick said in a letter to the NIBCC board. “This support directly impacts our mission success by keeping our Airmen mentally and physically able to continue answering their nation’s call.”
Rep. Jim Banks, a veteran of the U.S. Navy Reserve, is participating in the race as the official race starter and will also lead the pledge of allegiance.
To participate in the Race For the Warrior and the growth of the Military Support Fund, runners may register online at www.raceforthewarrior.org. Non-runners who want to join in on the festivities can register for a 5K pedal trolley ride or to enjoy lunch with the runners after the race. Space is limited.
About Race For the Warrior & the Military Support Fund
Race For the Warrior (R4TW) is NIBCC’s primary annual fundraising event for the Military Support Fund, which provides emergency assistance to local military and veteran families in urgent financial need. R4TW runners enjoy a 5K run/walk, 10K race or 5K/10K wheelchair race on the Fort Wayne International Airport runway.
About the Northeast Indiana Base Community Council (NIBCC)
Since its inception in 2011, NIBCC has served as a catalyst in unifying the military and civilian components of Northeast Indiana through education, collaboration, communication, and programs to build quality of life in the region. NIBCC is supported by its members and fundraising events.