Annual Fallen Heroes 5K Memorial Run coming Saturday Sept. 9

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Sign welcomes visitors to the Borough of Lake Como. FILE PHOTO

LAKE COMO — The 15th Annual Fallen Heroes 5K Memorial Run will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9.

The race — which is held each year at Bar Anticipation, 703 16th Avenue — is organized by the New Jersey State Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association to keep alive the memory of those that were lost during the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

According to race coordinator John Perrotto, the run is held as a 9/11 memorial and was originally started in Elizabeth, before relocating to Bar A about 10 years ago.

“So this being the 15th annual race, and 16 years since the terror attacks on 9/11, this race is a great way to keep the memory alive of our brothers and sisters who gave the ultimate sacrifice that day, as well as all of the other victims,” Mr. Perrotto said.

“It is also a great way to remember and help all of the veterans who have given their lives or been injured defending our great nation in the years since.”

For the second year, the proceeds from the race will benefit Rebuilding Warriors, a 501[c][3] nonprofit aimed at providing service dogs to veterans. “They’re just a great organization,” Mr. Perrotto said.

“They are based out of California and New Jersey, and what they do is they raise money and place service dogs with veterans that mainly have PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] at no charge to the veteran.”

According to the Rebuilding Warriors website, the foundation sponsors “Wounded Veterans” with a companion dog, provides training and a complete set up of care equipment.

In 2016, the race had about 800 runners, however, Mr. Perrotto hopes to break 1,000 this year to support the veterans and the foundation.

The run is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. with registration and packet pickup starting at 8 a.m. Runners can also pick up package and bibs on Friday, Sept. 8 at 4:30 p.m. at Bar A.

Registration is $25 and $30 after Sept. 7 through the morning of the race.

The total includes continuous music, prizes and a post-race barbecue at Bar A, with the opportunity for those over 21 to purchase wristbands for alcoholic beverages.

Also in store will be the Hamilton Township Fire Department Pipes and Drums, Le Yogurt Truck, a race goodie bag, kids races in the sand and Advanced PMR Physical Therapy.

The first 750 registrants are also guaranteed one of the signature long sleeve Fallen Heroes T-shirts.

“I encourage everyone to come out and support the race because all money raised from the race will go directly to Rebuilding Warriors, who help veterans in need of service dogs. The need for service dogs for our veterans with PTSD is growing every day, and every dog donated is one life saved,” said Mr. Perrotto.

For team registrations, please call 732-449-9250. Teams can be registered in the following divisions, according to the race website: open, teacher, firefighter, police, EMS and military. To register or for more information, visit www.lakecomoheroesrun.com.

For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.