BANGOR, Maine — The cold, wet rain on Saturday morning didn’t stop dedicated runners from participating in the Husson Run for the Children, held to raise money to provide college scholarships to children of fallen soldiers.
“This money is going to go toward scholarships and to provide hardship grants for families of soldiers deployed,” said Darryl Lyon, vice president of the Maine Infantry Foundation and major in the Maine Army National Guard.
U.S. Army Maj. Jim Karcanes, who is coach of Husson University’s new women’s cross country team, said his team of seven runners wanted to hold a race and give back to the community.
“It was a team effort,” he said. “They wanted to do it. They all love racing, and they all wanted to volunteer.”
The nonprofit Maine Infantry Foundation recently was formed to support Maine’s only infantry unit — Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion of the 172nd Mountain Infantry — based in Brewer. The unit lost two soldiers to a roadside bomb in Iraq during 2006 and is now deployed in Afghanistan.
Foundation members are raising funds in support of members and their families and to create a memorial conference room at the Brewer Armory to honor their fallen, Lyon said.
Funds associated with the Run for the Children are dedicated to the scholarships and hardship grant, he stressed.
Around 60 people preregistered for the 1-mile fun run or the 5K race, and “I had a lot of people sign up Saturday,” said Karcanes, who added that $350 to $500 was raised.
Many of the runners on Saturday wore Husson University attire or University of Maine ROTC apparel, and one was the Bangor school’s mascot. In the Husson eagle uniform was Husson sophomore Josh Clark.
U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Terance Gogan, a recent Husson graduate, manned the finish line and said supporting a cause that benefits children of fallen soldiers is easy.
“I have children of my own and I know it’s important to support children in every aspect of their lives,” he said.