4th Annual Jerabek Memorial Challenge from MarineParents.com: A Place to Connect & Share™
On Saturday, August 8th, 2009, Team Marine Parents™ participated in the 4th Annual Jerabek Memorial Challenge in Hobart, Wisconsin. The rainy weather could not dampen spirits nor keep the participants away. The dedicated members of this Team collectively raised nearly $4,500 for Marine Parents outreach programs, including The Care Package Project™, Purple Heart Hero Support™, and Operation PAL™. The Wisconsin Gold Star families in attendance were given gold star shaped helium balloons to release if they chose to.
This event honors not only PFC Ryan Jerabek, who gave his life defending Freedom on April 6th, 2004 in Ramadi, but all veterans and active duty military personnel. To learn more about the Jerabek Memorial Challenge, click here to visit the website.
This year was extremely special as members of Ryan's unit, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, were reunited. The family requested a 2/4 flag for this special occasion.
The Marine Corps went above and beyond the request of Ryan's family and sent the 2/4 color guard to open the event. After Ryan's father, Ken Jerabek, introduced the Marines, he said, "These are all my sons, and they all look like me." This initiated plenty of laughter from the audience.
The four mile running route for this event retraced the steps of PFC Ryan Jerabek as he prepared to enter recruit training. There was also an option for a two mile walk for those who didn't care to run.
Team Marine Parents™ participants had a great time meeting up with one another and very much enjoyed the camaraderie. Most were repeat participants.
Team Member Vicki Olson from Belleville, Wisconsin said she has set a goal to run in this event next year. Director of Community Relations and Team Marine Parents™ Manager, Wanda Schmitt, would just like to run faster.
We would like to express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude to all who participated in this year's Jerabek Memorial Challenge through Team Marine Parents™. Thank you all for your dedication, support, and generosity.