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Race to Help Wounded Warriors in Peekskill

The Peekskill American Legion Post 274 is hosting its first ever 5K Run/Walk for Heroes on Saturday, June 11. All proceeds will go to the Operation Comfort Warrior, said Peekskill American Legion Vice Commander Brendon Fitzgerald. The program provides wounded veterans with support overseas.

“When troops get hurt in Iraq or Afghanistan, they usually ship them off to a hospital in Germany or another friendly country,” Fitzgerald said. “When they go to those hospitals a representative from the American Legion will meet them and provide them with creature comforts that aren’t provided by the government, such as video games or calling [phone] cards.”

 The program has already raised over $1 million for injured troops overseas. Participants will meet at 1024 McKinley Street at 9 a.m. to check in. The race will begin promptly at 10 a.m. The race will conclude at the Peekskill American Legion, 936 McKinley Street, where a barbecue will take place to thank those who volunteered, participated, and donated to the cause. Over 55 people have already signed up for the race as of Monday and Fitzgerald said he expects over 100 people to participate. The race will take participants from McKinley to Washington to South Street to Louisa Street to Welcher Street and then back up McKinley where the race finishes at the American Legion hall. A band from the Yorktown VFW will be performing and a pipe and drum band courtesy of the Steamfitter Local 21 union will greet runners at the starting line. There will also be a raffle for participants.

 Fitzgerald also credited Peekskill’s D. Bertoline & Sons beverage distributors with helping to get the event started. “They’ve helped us out big time,” Fitzgerald said. “They gave us the banners for the event which are by the bridge and the train station, they gave us the [raffle] prizes and they donated the beer, which is a huge help.”

To register online, go to www.runsignup.com. Sign-up fee is $20 and pre-registered runners are guaranteed a race tee-shirt. For those interested in donating more, the American Legion will be collecting donations at the event. Ample parking will be available at the Steamfitter's building, located at 1024 McKinley Street. The American Legion is also looking for help from anyone that would like to volunteer their time for the event. Please contact Brendon Fitzgerald at (914) 482-8230 or bfitzgeraldc@aol.com if interested.

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