Veterans Appreciation Day undampened by the rain

VFW Post 1838 Manasquan Commander John Murphy Jr. [left] and former Post Commande Louis Dzeidzic [right] hold finish line for race winner John Jankowski [center] of Sea Girt. Photo Courtesy of VFW 1838 Manasquan

SEA GIRT— Runners and attendees at Saturday’s Veterans Appreciation Day 5K may have been wet, but their spirits were not dampened.

Runners lined up at the Sea Girt National Guard Training facility on a soggy Saturday morning to participate in this year’s race and fundraiser, the first time it has been held at this location. It was presented by VFW 1838 of Manasquan, and raises money for local veteran projects. The projects include “anything veteran related, from finding a guy a home to getting someone a ride to a hospital” according to John Murphy Jr., commander of VFW Post 1838 in Manasquan.

In total, ninety-four runners competed in the race that was sponsored by the Jersey Shore Running Club. “We had all these runners come out despite the weather, it’s great,” Mr. Murphy said.

The event was organized by Liz Finlay, the event coordinator for VFW Post 1838 in Manasquan. Veterans Appreciation Day features the 5K, food and beer trucks and live music. “[Veterans] have played a big part in my life. I have an uncle who served in Vietnam so I am proud to be a part of this organization,” Ms. Finlay said Saturday.

Ms. Finlay emphasized the importance of veterans to our everyday lives and that as citizens we have everything to thank them for. “Without the veterans we wouldn’t have our freedom,” she stressed. She said it is a lot of hard work to organize the event, but she enjoys doing it and will do it again next year.

“It’s a fun day for people to come out and enjoy the music, the food, the running — so it’s a pleasure for me to do this every year.”