5K on Nov. 14 will benefit veterans in Orleans County
MEDINA – It was several years ago Jenn Thom realized there weren’t a lot of resources available for veterans in Orleans County, and she wanted to do something to help.
That prompted her to organize the first Operation Honor 5K. The first year, proceeds of $3,000 went to the Warrior House near West Shelby, and last year she donated $4,000 to the Orleans County Joint Veterans Council in Albion for a new van.
Thom is still deciding on where to donate the proceeds of this year’s race, scheduled Nov. 14 in Medina, with the start at Junior Wilson Club on Bates Road. Thom said the VFW and American Legion can always use money and she may use the proceeds to help them.
Albion artist Carol Culhane will be selling her ornaments, paying tribute to all branches of the military. They are $10 and she will autograph them free of charge. Her Gold Star Mother and Purple Heart ornaments she gives away free.
Thom’s vision is to grow the event and create a fund to help veterans and their families, similar to what the Knights-Kaderli Fund does for cancer patients. Thom said if anyone knows of a veteran or his family who needs financial help, they can call her.
Thom’s desire to help veterans comes from the fact her friend Sarah Surdell’s husband is a veteran and Thom’s boyfriend is a veteran.
Information on signing up for the race can be found on the event’s Facebook page, or anyone can call Thom at her office at (585) 532-6900 to register for the race or make a donation.
Registration the day of the race will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Junior Wilson’s, followed by the race at 11 a.m.
There have been between 40 and 50 runners in the past, and 20 have already signed up for this year. Thom said she knows there might not be as many participants this year with the Covid pandemic.
“I also know donations from businesses will probably be less because they just don’t have it, and I understand that,” Thom said.