Watertown is gearing up for its second annual Warrior Run to take place next month.
The Watertown Warrior 5K Run/Walk, which proved to be a success in its first attempt last year, will rally those in the community and beyond to help support the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides a number of services for wounded veterans.
The event is slated for July 26.
“Last year we had more than 250 people participate, and we raised over $7,500 for the Wounded Warrior Project,” said Melissa Vaught, who was instrumental in getting the event off the ground. “This year we’re looking forward to another success.”
Vaught said the idea for the event was started a couple of years ago as she and her two sons, both veterans of the Marines, decided they wanted to give back to other veterans.
“This started because of them, but I realized through the process that a lot of people needed this,” Vaught said.
Since its inception, Vaught said the feedback for the event has been amazing.
“The love this community has is wonderful, not just Watertown, but Lebanon and Mt. Juliet. As soon as we started handing out fliers, we started getting calls and donations immediately,” Vaught said. “When you’re passionate about your country, you’ll do anything to help and this is a compassionate community and county. It’s been awesome.”
According to Vaught, it’s not just the immediate community helping either, as last year the event saw participants from South Carolina.
“This year, as of right now, we’ve got some signed up as far away as from Minnesota,” Vaught said. “So I’m anxious and excited to see where this is all going.”
Along with the 5K run and walk, for which the course goes through Watertown, out into scenic country roads and finishes in the Watertown square, Vaught said this year they’ve also added a 1-mile Kids Fun Run for those 15 years old and younger. The race starts at 7 a.m.
Registration is $40 for the 5K Run or Walk the day of the race and $18 for the 1-mile Kids Fun Run the day of the race, but prices are cheaper for those who register before the day of the event.
Vaught said this year they’ve also added several promotional tents and vendor tents, as well as countless sponsors and a silent auction.
All proceeds from the event will go to the Wounded Warrior Project. The Wounded Warrior Project’s mission is “to honor and empower Wounded Warriors who incurred a physical or mental injury, illnesses, or wound, co-incident to your military service on or after Sept. 11, 2001.”
“We’re really all about all veterans,” Vaught said.
For those looking to give back or register, visit watertownwarriorrun.com for more information. Registration forms can also be downloaded and mailed in.
“This year we’re really excited. We’ve got awesome sponsorship, and we’ve already had an overwhelming amount of support,” Vaught said. “There is already a lot of excitement going on and I’m really excited to see what this year will bring.”