Running of the Flag raises $8,000 for local vets

By Brandi Makuski

It’s another record year for Running of the Flag.

Participants in the fifth annual 5K run/walk brought in $8,000 for the July 4 fundraiser. The event, held at Pfiffner Pioneer Park early last Wednesday morning, saw about 100 runners.

The 5K is always held in the early morning hours of July 4 because it’s the best day to ignite patriotism and honor veterans, both fallen and living, according to organizer Tim Peltier.

The event included a salute the to flag and a 21-gun salute from the American Legion Rifle Squad, along with a DJ and silent raffle. Participants were encouraged to wear American flag-themed appeal.

Last year, the group raised $6,500. The year before, $4,500. Funds go directly to the Portage Co. Veterans Relief Fund, a service mandated by state law for veterans, and their dependents, meeting certain qualifications of financial need.

Portage Co. Veteran Services Officer Mike Clements said money is the fund can’t be used for anything else.

“We only started donating to the fund four years ago and the total, to date, is $19,655,” Peltier said on Thursday.

Peltier said he plans to present a check to Clements in the next week or so.