Brighton to Host First 9/11 Memorial Run, Walk Event
All proceeds will go to finish the 9/11 Memorial in front of Fire Station 31.
Last year, members of the Brighton Area Fire Department drove to Staten Island, New York and brought back a piece of the World Trade Center Tower to hang in a memorial in front of Fire Station 31.
While the community came together and donated materials and volunteer hours to get the site ready in time for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, today the memorial still stands unfinished.
Katy Kerch hopes to rectify that by holding the first Brighton 9/11 Memorial 5K Run, Walk event on Sept. 8 - the weekend of the Smokin' Jazz & Barbecue Blues Festival in downtown Brighton.
Kerch, whose husband works for PNC Bank of Brighton, said the 5K idea came from the bank looking to do something to give back to the community. Kerch said instead of just donating money, they wanted to do something to get the community involved - so PNC Bank will match all donations made.
According to Brighton Fire Chief Mike O'Brian, the memorial still needs a monument sign, flag poles moved and the names of the 343 firefighters who died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center engraved.
"From my standpoint, it was really a win-win," O'Brian said about the event. "We've really been working on physical fitness within the organization. A fit fire department helps make the community a little more fit. It matched."
The run will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday morning. The course runs through downtown Brighton, around Brighton High School and finishes at Fire Station 31. Cost to register is $40. Early registration costs $25.
O'Brian put out a challenge and three fire stations have a majority of their staff running or walking in the event.
"A lot of the firefighters have decided they're going to walk in their turn out gear," O'Brian said. "So they will be walking or running to support in remembrance of somebody who lost their life on 9/11."
O'Brian said he hopes this becomes an annual event.
Sponsors include Fitness Sponsors, Inc., Hungry Howie's of Brighton, Elite Feet, TEAM BEAV, Inc. and The Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce.
For more information on the 5K or to register, visit www.isupportbrighton.com.