Say Thanks Day 201220-Mar-2012
Say Thanks Day - Saturday June 9, 2012
MMAF invited military families and the public to its 8th annual “Say Thanks Day” event on Saturday, June 9, 2012. The event was held at a new and now permanent location: the Boy Scout Base Camp at Fort Snelling. The event generated a new category of runners by introducing a 10K run to accompany the eighth consecutive 5K run and two-mile walk.
The new Base Camp venue’s added space and unique facilities generated excitement for the event’s planners, allowing them to expand the offerings to take advantage of the location’s attractions. The historic and lush Fort Snelling State Park accommodated the running events and the spacious upper fields of Fort Snelling provided a route for those walking in the event.
Registration began at 8 a.m. on a beautiful sunny morning, with temperatures in the upper 70s. The participants arrived to see inflatable games ready to be bounced upon, a climbing wall ready to be challenged, a static display and many other new elements for the event.
The group held a poignant moment of silence together to honor those who have sacrificed their lives for our country, followed by a military band’s moving renditions of Taps and the Star Spangled Banner. A flyover of vintage T-6 Texan aircrafts in missing man formation signified that the race was about to start and provided an exciting moment for the crowd and participants. More than 100 runners prepared themselves for the 10K run, while over at the starting line for the 5K run, another 300 runners moved into position for their 9 a.m. race. Minutes later, more than 600 walkers made their way to the starting line and began to walk the two-mile course, which was lined with American Flags fluttering slightly in the open air and sunshine.
While walkers and runners enjoyed the ideal weather and scenic views, music from the Emerson Avenue Band energized those remaining at Base Camp. The rousing music provided a festive backdrop as the inflatable games became populated with kids of all ages and the climbing walls teemed with thrill-seekers looking to challenge themselves in a vertical endeavor. Meanwhile, the Forest Lake VFW was busy serving food to returning runners and walkers, who eagerly awaited the morning program.
Following the walk, 5K and 10K runs, a program featuring MMAF Co-Founder General Dennis Schulstad and MMAF Chair Roger Sit discussed the impressive history of MMAF and updated the crowd on current grant totals and other important milestones reached in the past year. MMAF Co-Founders Michael Gorman and Skip Krawczyk awarded grants to Minnesota service members:
Sergeant Erin Cochran, Forest Lake
Lance Corporal Jason Tuuri, White Bear Lake
Thank you to Say Thanks Day event sponsors: Sit Investment Associates, Federated Insurance, TCF Bank, The Wealth Enhancement Group, Nelson, Tietz and Hoye Inc, TDS Inc, Cub Foods and 7Up. A special thank you to the Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America and Base Camp for allowing Say Thanks Day to take place at their beautiful location, to the Forest Lake VFW for serving food at the event and to all our volunteers who made the day possible.Thank you to everyone who participated in the 8th annual Say Thanks Day. We appreciate your support of MMAF