PALMDALE, Caif. — Vets 4 Veterans, the Antelope Valley group that works to prevent veteran homelessness, is looking for a few — or a lot — of good community volunteers for its 5K “Color Blast Fun Run” coming up in June.
This year’s 5K run pursues the mission of preventing homelessness and assisting the college educations of Antelope Valley troops who have served in our nation’s armed services. The 5K “Color Blast Fun Run” races out of the blocks at 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 10, at Pelona Vista Park at 37800 Tierra Subida Ave., in Palmdale.
“Color runs have become so popular recently, with runners having a ball when they race through a cloud of brightly colored powder and turn into racing flashes of color,” Vets4Veterans Board Member Carol Rice said. “It just adds a whole new dimension of fun to a 5K run.
Rice added, “What we need now are a bunch of community volunteers who love our veterans, and who are ready themselves to have a fun time. When people give of themselves, they never regret it, and there is a lot of enjoyment in getting the prep work done for a big event like this.”
Vets4Veterans is a local 501(c)3 charitable organization, is in its 9th year of supporting veterans through scholarships, counseling, immediate needs assistance and the acquisition of a temporary housing solution for at-risk veterans and their families.
“The warriors who defend our country deserve access to all programs that may assist them to live better,” said Vets4Veterans President Tom Hilzendeger, himself a Vietnam War veteran.
This year’s event is for veterans, and veteran supporters, and also for families, children, civic service groups, sports trainers, competitive runners, casual joggers, active military, First Responders and “anyone who wants to have a really good time as the summer good times begin to roll,” Hilzendeger said.
$35 — Super Patriots, includes race shirt, dog tag, sunglasses and bandana)
$20 — Mini-Patriots (5-12 years), includes dog tag, sunglasses and bandana
FREE — Mini-Patriots (under 5 years), includes bandana.
All runners must be registered.
Vets 4 Veterans is a local, 501(c)3 non-profit, whose mission is to empower local veterans, who suffer the physical and psychological wounds of war, to successfully reintegrate into the life of their community. Vets4Veterans awards scholarships for higher education, providing interim housing for veterans attending college or other job training, assessing and granting assistance in cases of financial hardship or immediate family need, and offering PTSD Counseling and Art as Healing group.
The group assists where possible, frequently helping with rent, groceries, and other necessary expenses. Vets 4 Veterans works closely with Antelope Valley College, and the Antelope Valley Vet Center, and Vietnam veteran Gerry Rice, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in PTSD counseling.
Proceeds from the colors run stay local and go toward the Operation Restart Programs of assisting local veterans in times of need. Vets 4 Veterans awards seven scholarships annually, through the Antelope Valley College Foundation, to local veterans at AVC.
“The goal of Vets 4 Veterans is to offer a safety net to prevent homelessness among veterans of the Antelope Valley,” Hilzendeger said. “We realized we can help the most when we do it ourselves, with our own communities’ resources.”