SportsEvents Magazine

JUL 2018

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July 2018 20 Heroes Race Helps Wounded Warriors, Fallen Firefighters & More Sports Anaheim will host its first-ever Heroes Races in November this year. According to Roy Edmondson, vice president of sports development with Visit Anaheim, the event will feature a 10-mile run, a 5K and a kids fun run, and partici- pants have the option to identify a personal "hero" they are running for, whether that be a wounded warrior, fallen firefighter, veteran or other hero that they encounter in everyday life. "The Heroes Races are designed to be fun and family-friendly," Edmondson said, noting that runners traverse a flat, fast course that allows them to explore Ana- heim landmarks, such as the Honda Center and Angel Stadium. "We know there are thousands of runners who were sad to see the four Disneyland races put on hiatus, so we hope some of those participants will see this as an opportunity to still visit Ana- heim and run a very fun race that benefits some incredible organizations." The heroes theme is incorporated throughout the event program, from the medals to the course itself and even a costume contest. So far, Edmondson said that the event team has brought signif- icant partners on board, including the Honda Center, Angel Stadium and City of Anaheim, as well as established key relationships with local charities to bene- fit from fundraising efforts. Looking ahead, the Sports Anaheim team plans to grow the Heroes Races and add additional events. Greene County Events Support Military Ohio's Greene County is home to several events that honor military heroes. Held annually in the city of Dayton's Nutter Center Arena, the Air Force JROTC Open Drill Nationals is the largest Air Force-only competition held anywhere in the world and features 30 schools and nearly 1,000 cadets, instructors and parents. Justin Gates, competition director with Sports Network International, said the event, which is more than 20 years old, is designed to give Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) a first-class stage to compete with their peers and show service pride, esprit de corps and excellence. "The benefits gained by a top drill program make these people better in all aspects of their life, learning the bene- fits of hard work, sacrifice, leadership and dozens of other traits that will make them better parents, workers and citizens," Gates said. "Those who judge the event see their drive and determination, and it genuinely restores their faith in the future of this nation." Armed and unarmed teams compete in four team events: Unit Inspection, Regulation (Basic) Drill, Color Guard and Team Exhibition. Awards are present- ed to top finishers in each event, as well as overall trophies for the schools that have the best overall scores. Top finishers earn an invitation to attend the all-service National High School Drill Team Cham- pionships, held in May each year. Gates said the event has nearly reached capacity at the Nutter Center and the tal- ent of drill continues to rise each year. "Judges and others who annually attend are buoyed by the work the cadets put in and the excellence they display," he said. "The trophies are first rate and the economic impact to the Dayton area has been more than hoped. Mostly, we remain honored that our efforts continue to help support the efforts of the AFJROTC Headquarters in Maxwell, Alabama, ► t SPECIAL Feature The Wounded Warrior's Amputee Softball event at the Ron Nischwitz Baseball Stadium in Dayton, Ohio. The Air Force JROTC Open Drill Challenge Sports Network International

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