The triennial ConExpo-Con/Agg 5K Run/Walk set a new record last week for the number of race participants and money raised for its selected charity. In 2014, the Las Vegas 5K race supported the Semper Fi Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. About 280 runners spent early Wednesday morning pounding the pavement in support of the organization.
In total, $10,000 was raised for the charity—94% of which goes to the injured military forces and their families. This doubles the amount raised during the ConExpo 5K in 2011. Additionally, donations were accepted throughout the week at the Semper Fi Fund’s booth in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Marine Lance Corporal Brandon Pelletier and Madeline Schildwachter, community events manager for Semper Fi Fund, received the donation check for the charity.
“There is no better cause in this building,” said Ron DeFeo, CEO of Terex, while accepting the Corporate Challenge Cup for having the most runners in the 5K. Sixty-four runners from Terex participated in the race. Other winners included Robert Gilles of Doosan Infracore, who crossed the finish line at 15:56 and had the best time for the men (Gilles was also the first-place winner in 2011), and Jennifer Paneepinto with Bonfigliolio was the fastest female finisher at 21:19. The “Globetrotter” award when to Dale Cameron of Trimble Loadrite, who traveled the farthest—from Adelaide, South Australia—to participate in the race.
Recovery Through Sport
Lance Corporal Pelletier also is a celebrated runner, having participated in Team Semper Fi, which is Semper Fi Fund’s “Recovery Through Sport” program. This allowed him to train at an Olympic Training Center and compete with world class athletes over the years.
After his arm was crushed in Iraq in 2007, Pelletier received funds from the organization to help him recover from his physical injuries and assist him through rehabilitation, which included Team Semper Fi. “I don’t let this defeat me,” he said. “We’re injured, not dead—we have a lot to offer.”
Since receiving help from Semper Fi Fund, the organization reports that Pelletier has won numerous medals at the Paralympics National Championship, the Warrior Games, and became a U.S. Paralympics Team trainer.
He also helps Semper Fi Fund by speaking at fundraisers and other events. “I’m dedicating my life to a new generation of veterans,” Pelletier added.
For more information on the Semper Fi Fund or to make a donation, visit semperfifund.org.