U.Va. Research Park 5k Raises $90k for Wounded Warriors Project

The University of Virginia Foundation, in partnership with Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports, will present a check to the Wounded Warrior Project on Friday between noon and 2 p.m. at a special post-race celebration at the Dabney Grove Pavilion in the U.Va. Research Park.

The "4 the Wounded 5k," held June 2, was the U.Va. Foundation’s second annual research park 5k. With the collective effort of more than 20 representatives from firms located in the U.Va. Research Park serving on the organization committee, 50 corporate sponsors, roughly 1,000 runners and walkers, and many community race-day volunteers, more than $90,000 was raised for the Wounded Warrior Project.

The Wounded Warrior Project provides programs and services to assist injured veterans and their families during their recovery, rehabilitation and transition. Whether through caregiver retreats, combat stress programs, career and education services, or adaptive sporting opportunities, Wounded Warrior Project’s vision is to help make this generation of wounded warriors the most successful and well-adjusted in the nation’s history.

The lead sponsor of the 5k was ACAC Wellness & Fitness Centers, which also organized the kids' race. Wal-Mart provided all water and food, and encouraged its employees to volunteer and agreed to reward their time with a corporate donation to the Wounded Warriors Project. Monticello Media and Charlottesville Newsplex were official media sponsors. All race-related expenses were paid by the U.Va.  Foundation and its partner, Bad to the Bone Endurance Sports, allowing for 100 percent of race proceeds to be donated to the Wounded Warriors Project.

"This race, the beneficiary and the amazing support we've received from sponsors and volunteers alike surpassed our wildest expectations," Deborah van Eersel, the foundation's chief of staff and director of marketing, said. "Soldiers from the National Ground Intelligence Center parked cars, a color guard helped us open the event, military vehicles were on display, the Fire Department's Ladder Truck displaying a giant American Flag dominated the start and finish lines, there was live music. …

"It was a lively and patriotic morning and we could not have been more proud and satisfied with the results."