SportsEvents Magazine

JUL 2018

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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Page 18 of 59 July 2018 19 Hosting Events To Laud Our Nation's Best BY SELENA CHAVIS Courage, perseverance, fortitude, discipline. These words represent just a few of the qualities that make a good ath- lete. They also describe the character embodied by the U.S. military, veterans and first responders. It's no wonder, then, that sports events provide a natural backdrop for honoring America's heroes. Increasingly, sports event planners are drawing on this powerful combination to bring communities together, showcase the best of the best and generate some positive publicity. In this third "Honoring Our Heroes" feature, we look at how groups are saying thanks creatively to those who continually have the nation's back. Semper Fi Fund's Crossing the Frontier Race Photo courtesy of Erie Sports Commission t SPECIAL Feature Crossing the Frontier 5K/10K Benefits Semper Fi Fund The inaugural Crossing the Frontier race was held in 2018 with a mission to bring awareness of the Semper Fi Fund and its support of civilians, military and combat-injured veterans. "I wanted to create an event that honored the motto of the Semper Fi Fund, which is 'Support Through Sports' that leads to 'Recovery Through Sports' for combat veterans with life-altering injuries," said Race Director Tammy Kay Cassa. Showcasing a 5K and 10K race, the course ran through Frontier Park in Erie, Pa., and was dotted with physical training (PT) stations led by Marines, the Erie Police Department SWAT Team and veterans from the Army, Navy and Air Force. All pro- ceeds from the event went directly to the Semper Fi Fund, which gives 94 percent of every dollar directly to combat veterans, according to Cassa. The event was very well received, Cassa said, and plans are already un- derway for the 2019 event. "We dou- bled the number of participants that we expected for a first-time event," she said. "We had participants from seven states in attendance and three states participating virtually. The clear majority of participants had not heard of the Semper Fi Fund and created some excitement to move forward." In 2019, the event will showcase a fresh course design for both the 5K and 10K, and Cassa said that swag bags are also being revamped so that participants will want to return and bring their friends. "I hope to have a bit of in- tra-Military branch rivalry, with a little bit of calling out, words exchanged, lines drawn, gauntlets thrown down, all for fun and a good cause," Cassa said. ►

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