When Rob Veltre III organized a 5K run last year, the event in support of Boulder Crest Wounded Warriors project was tied to a school project.
But this year, despite his sophomore personal project behind him, the Quaker Valley junior continued on to organize the second annual Brave American 5K and 1 Mile Walk.
The run takes place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, starting from War Memorial Park. Registration will happen indoors at the Sewickley Valley YMCA community center.
Rob, who participates in cross-country and track, said he felt a sense of duty to continue the event this year for the Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors.
“It’s sort of a calling for me,” said Rob, 17, of Sewickley.
The retreat in Bluemont, VA, aims to provide wounded veterans and their families a place to savor the peace, relax and work out what life has for them in the future.
Rob's efforts have received support from his mother, Delia Battista, and his dad, Rob Veltre Jr., a member of the Boulder Crest board of directors.
“My dad is still involved with the retreat and we had such a great turnout last year that I still want to do this,” Rob said.
Once construction is completed, the retreat will be open to veterans in transition—well enough to leave the hospital for a while, but still in need of treatment. Troops and their immediate families will be invited to spend one to two weeks in the country setting at no cost. The retreat is past the halfway point toward its goal to raise $10 million.
Last year, Rob said the local Brave American 5K Classic raised $14,000, setting the record for a school project fundraiser. The funds were sent to support the foundation and help with the building of cabins. This year’s goal is to raise $30,000, he said.
About 135 participants took part in the previous event, and Rob expects this year's numbers will surpass last year. Anyone unable to run can opt to do the 1-mile walk. Medals will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers in several age groups.
Rob is hoping for more registrations ahead of Saturday. Cost is $25 for runners and $15 for walkers who pre-register.