Organizers of race benefiting a program for homeless veterans are encouraging both avid runners and those with a heart for the military to participate.
Registration is now open for the eighth-annual Veterans' Home Run, a 5K race on June 29 that will begin and end at Memorial Park.
All proceeds will benefit the Crawford House, a nonprofit-run program that provides housing for veterans who are receiving mental health care or participating in substance-abuse rehabilitation.
Crawford House staff hope the race raises upwards of $15,000 so that they can upgrade their facility.
"We're going to try to get new bedding and pillows for the veterans," said Vicky Pettis, program director. "We want to upgrade the building, do some painting, get the stairwell redone, sidewalk fixed."
In past years, the race has raised between $15,000 and $18,000. Proceeds have gone toward buying new dressers, beds, curtains, medication lockers and computers, Pettis added.
The need for funds is greater this year than last. In October, the Crawford House increased the number of veterans it can house by five.
As usual, there's a waiting list of veterans who need the organization's help, Pettis said.
Organizers are hoping for at least 500 participants this year - about 200 more than average, said Jack Anthony, a member of the race committee.
"We do have civilians participate, but we also have a lot of local military, both active and retiree, and family members at the event," he said. "It's quite a rainbow coalition of participants."
The run is a fairly easy one, and families can walk a shorter 3K if they're interested, he said.
"It's a fun run," he said. "It's for a great cause, and thanks to our sponsors, I can guarantee every penny of their entry fee goes to the Crawford House mission and team. There's no overhead whatsoever."
Registration starts at $15 per participant.