A big group of runners and cyclists will pass through Bryan County on Saturday morning for a good cause.
Pembroke will be the first stop for the seventh annual Run for the Heroes, a 260-mile jaunt across Georgia from Fort Stewart to Fort Benning. This portion of the raise is for cyclists and relay teams. Individual runners started Wednesday.
Run for the Heroes raises money to make needed repairs to homes of military veterans and public-safety workers who don’t have the means to do it themselves.
“It’s for veterans, police, fire, EMS — anyone that is in dire need of some type of improvement to their home,” said Sharroll Fanslau, the director of the Downtown Development Authority of Pembroke. “And this all stays within the state of Georgia.”
The city will have a rest station set up from 6-11 a.m. Saturday at the Alco store on West Bacon Street. The participants can stop for a drink, muffins and fruit, and cool off under a tent before starting the next leg of the journey.
The public is invited to cheer on the runners and riders as they come into Pembroke off Highway 119, turn west onto Highway 280 and receive a Pembroke police and fire escort to the rest stop at Alco. The route through downtown will be lined with American flags.
“It’s fun and it’s a good thing for our community to support,” Fanslau said. “It’s not (just) for the community, it’s for the whole state. It’s a very good cause.”
The runners will complete the 260-mile trek on relay teams. The bicyclists are a new addition this year to Run for the Heroes.
“We’re expecting some 300-plus teams, whether they’re cyclists or relay runners, coming through Pembroke,” Mayor Mary Warnell said.
The fundraiser is sponsored by the House of Heroes Chattahoochee Valley Chapter. Founded in 2000, House of Heroes provides free house repairs to military and public safety veterans who are disabled, elderly, living on a fixed income or facing some other physical or financial challenge.
“They have assisted by remodeling or even just updating over 550 veterans’ homes in the state of Georgia,” Warnell said.
The organization’s goal this year is to help 50 homeowners. More than $89,000 has been pledged so far for the 2015 Run for the Heroes, according to the organization’s website. For more information or to make a donation, go to runfortheheroes.com.