Say Thanks Day 201404-Apr-2014
2014 SAY THANKS DAY
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2014
BOY SCOUT BASE CAMP
Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund held its Annual Say Thanks Day event on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at the Boy Scout Base Camp at Fort Snelling. The 10th annual event included a 10K run, 5K run, two-mile walk and Marine RECON Challenge which asked competitors to run 3 miles in under 18 minutes.
Participants began arriving before 8:00 a.m. on a beautiful morning, with temperatures in the upper 40s and plenty of sunshine. As participants arrived and checked in, they were greeted by music from the Emerson Avenue Band and host of volunteers from Sit Investment Associates, Target, TDS Inc. and the Harding High School Junior ROTC program. The event emcee, Brigadier General (Ret.) Denny Schulstad, kicked off pre-race festivities at 8:45, welcoming participants and thanking them for supporting Minnesota’s service members. Following a moment of silence to honor those who have sacrificed their lives for our country, Emerson Avenue played moving renditions of Taps and the Star Spangled Banner. Nearly 300 runners moved to the Starting line at 9:00 to participate in the 10K run, 5K run and Marine RECON Challenge. A few minutes later, more than 400 walkers made their way to the starting line and began to walk the two-mile course, which was lined by members of the Minnesota Patriot Guard.
While walkers and runners enjoyed the beautiful weather and scenic views, music from the Emerson Avenue Band filled the ears of those remaining at Base Camp. The rousing music provided a festive backdrop as the Kid’s Carnival games. The climbing walls were filled with thrill-seekers looking to challenge themselves in a vertical endeavor.
When the runners and walkers had returned to Base Camp, General Schulstad opened the post-race program and alerted participants to look to the sky where the Patriot Parachute Team was starting their descent back towards earth. The skydivers unfurled a giant American Flag as they approached Base Camp and landed precisely in front of the building to the amazement of the crowd! Upon commencement of the skydive, MMAF Chair Roger Sit gave a brief recap on the current grant totals and the important milestones MMAF has reached in the past year. Roger then invited General Schulstad and MMAF Co-Founder Skip Krawczyk to the stage to award a grant check to Specialist Caleb Fisher, a Minnesota Veteran of Iraq. The winners of the 5K and 10K runs along with door prize winners were announced as the program commenced.
Thank you to each of our event sponsors: Sit Investment Associates, Federated Insurance, Target, TCF Bank, The Wealth Enhancement Group, TDS Inc, Cub Foods and 7Up. A special “Thanks” to Atomic Data and Cambria for sponsoring the Patriot Parachute Team jump and to the Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America and Base Camp for allowing Say Thanks Day to take place at their beautiful location.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the 10th Annual Say Thanks Day. We appreciate your support of Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund and look forward to seeing you again for our 11th Say Thanks Day event in 2015!