Sponsors, vendors, runners needed for Armed Forces Day Rescue 5K

Money raised from the Armed Forces Day Rescue 5K and community fair will benefit Brevard County militaryfamilies.

The Armed Forces Day Rescue 5K and community fair will benefit Brevard County military families.

The event will be held May 18 (Armed Forces Day), beginning with a 5K run that starts at 7:30 a.m. About 500 runners are scheduled to participate. The course starts and ends in The Avenue Viera.

Following the race, participants will gather for breakfast and beverages in The Avenue’s center garden/ courtyard for an awards ceremony at 9 a.m. Awards will be presented to the top three male and female finishers; top three male and female age group finishers, and the top male and female masters (age 40 and older) finishers.

All proceeds go to the Rescue Special Functions Committee and the Military Affairs Council to support local military families going through hard times or illnesses. The event also supports the organization’s family day and other morale boosting events.

Registration is $30 per person through May 17, and $35 on race day. Included in the registration fee is a race T-shirt, sponsor swag, race-themed dog tags, breakfast and beverages. A race packet is available at the Running Zone at 3696 N. Wickham Road in Melbourne. To register, go to runsignup.com/race/fl/viera/ armedforcesday5kfl

Last year, some money went toward paying the costs of airfare and hotel accommodations for a spouse whose husband had to have emergency surgery while training in Arizona. Funds also went toward a caisson for the funeral of retired Col. Christopher "Sunshine" Hannon, a former rescue pilot and commander of the 920th Operations Group, 920th Rescue Wing, at Patrick Air Force Base. Hannon was killed Feb. 2 when a vehicle struck his bicycle in Vero Beach.

Following the race, the celebration of Armed Forces Day featuring various vendors, exhibits, a 21-plus tent, prizes, demos and games will begin at 10 a.m. A silent auction of several giving baskets will be held at 2:30 p.m., while one vendor, Nicole Maree Bridal, will give away a free wedding dress to a military bride that plans to get married within the year.

Live music by Half Step Down, a classic rock group from St. Cloud, will begin its performance at 11 a.m.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Robin Simons, the executive officer of the 920th Operations Group at Patrick AFB, said they are looking for event sponsors. Sponsorship levels include four-star sponsor ($500 and up) three-star sponsor ($350-$499); two-star sponsor ($200-$349); one-star sponsor ($50-$199); silent auction sponsor; race winner sponsor or gift card donation over $40, and booth sponsor ($60 or $50 for MAC member).

"We hope to raise around $10,000 for our local military families," she said.

Rob Medina, the military public affairs representative for U.S. Rep. William Posey, will start the event at 10 a.m.

If you are interested in sponsoring or volunteering, e-mail Sandy Owens or Simons at sowens@ cocoabeachchamber.com or runarmedforcesday5k@gmail. com VV