Approximately 120 Luke Thunderbolts ran, walked and cheered during a charity run May 10 at the base track to raise funds for victims of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing.
More than $1,300 was raised during the four-hour event hosted by the LEAD council, Focus 5-6 and the Top 3.
“It was mostly a LEAD initiative,” said Senior Master Sgt. Mark Jackson, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron assistant munitions flight chief and Top 3 member.
A LEAD member reached out to Jackson a mere 24 hours after the marathon bombing asking if there was anything they could do to help.
“I met with them, we talked about it and they came up with some really good ideas,” Jackson said. “I took their ideas and gave them some direction. We knew we wanted to do a fundraiser and thought ‘It was a marathon. How about we do a run in honor of it?’ And that’s where the theme originated.”
Time was already against the council members as they worked through the challenges of putting together the event.
“The biggest challenges we ran into were time, logistics and startup money,” Jackson said. “The spirit and intent was to do this at the one-month anniversary of the bombing, giving us less than three weeks to push the paperwork and coordinate everything else. There was no continuity book on how to do something like this. We had to navigate through all the do’s and don’ts of putting this event together.
“The other challenge was trying to do a charity event with money,” he added. “I had to reach out to other organizations and groups for resources and donations. In the end, it all worked out.”
The event proved to be a success in planning, execution and goals.
“I think it went pretty well considering we did it in a short amount of time,” said Staff Sgt. Maddie Baker, 56th Dental Squadron dental laboratory technician and Focus 5-6 president. “I’m glad we had as many people turn out as we did. We had a great turnout and we’ll be able to give a good amount to those injured in the bombing.”
In the true spirit of brotherhood, Team Luke rallied together as a community to help those in need.
“It’s truly a testament to the Air Force core value of ‘Service Before Self,’ seeing the willingness of Team Luke to help those affected by the recent tragedy and the strong sense of community” Jackson said. “I’m very happy with the amount we raised and we’ll be able to donate that amount on behalf of the LEAD council, Focus 5-6, Top 3 and the 56th Fighter Wing.”
Other council members took pride in witnessing Luke’s team spirit.
“We all came together as a team,” said Baker. “It’s not always just about our own team members but about the community as well.”