Chamber of Commerce hosts 5K for veterans appreciation

Chamber of Commerce hosts 5K for veterans appreciation

The West Alabama Chamber of Commerce Veteran Affairs Committee will host a 5K run at Government Plaza. CW / Laura Johnson

The West Alabama Chamber of Commerce Veteran Affairs Committee will host a 5K run in support of veterans Nov. 5 from 8 to 11 a.m. at Government Plaza.

Alex Bynum, assistant director of the VMA office at the University, said the run is the kick-off to Veterans Appreciation Week.

“This event is a run or walk, you don’t have to be a great runner,” Bynum said “This is about showing your support for the veterans and to have a good amount of our [Tuscaloosa] population would mean a lot to them.”

Tickets are $20 if you pre-register and $25 if you register the day of. All proceeds will go to three charities: Veterans Memorial Park, the UA/Shelton State student-veteran emergency relief fund, and the veterans administration medical center homeless shelter.

“Ten percent of the entire UA population is military [affiliated],” Bynum said. “I highly encourage all students to attend, it would mean a lot to the veterans of UA to show up to the run, because this is one of the few opportunities we have to raise monetary funds for veterans who are dealing with multiple issues and trying to attend UA at the same time.”

In addition to the 5K run, several other events will take place the following week to continue honoring veterans. There will be a Veteran’s Day ceremony held at Veteran’s Memorial Park on Nov. 11 where residents can come and show their support for those who have served in the military.

This year will be the first year the city of Tuscaloosa and the VA hospital have come together for one veterans ceremony, whereas in the past they have each had their own separate dedication.

Bryan Butler, director of Human Resources for the city of Tuscaloosa, Chairman of Veterans Memorial Park and a Commander in the United States Navy, said he hopes that by combining their efforts, people will be able to come together

“This is a way to get the whole community together at one time,” Butler said. “We’re really trying to get the younger student veterans and dependents out to the event but also to see the park and be involved in the park.”

There will be several speakers in attendance as well as many veterans from around the Tuscaloosa area. Butler said he hopes to see a good turnout.

“We want people to have a good time, and know their registration fees help out these charities,” Butler said. “The run is the beginning of Veterans Appreciation Week, I encourage others to think about ways they can honor and thank local veterans. The program on Veteran’s Day is an opportunity for residents to come and show their support for veterans in the community.”

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