The 5th annual 9/11 Memorial Challenge began last week with the procession of the community’s big flag down Main Street to Veteran’s Memorial Park. Many participants and spectators enjoyed the parade honoring the victims of Sept. 11. It is expected that this will become an annual part of the Friday night activities which includes a memorial service, registration for the 911 Challenge and packet pick up. This year a free spaghetti dinner was provided by Mt. Grant Electric in partnership with the Mineral County Care and Share.
Early Saturday morning nearly 100 participants braved the heat for this year’s 9/11 Memorial Mt. Grant Challenge. Entrants from California, Washington and Nevada (Sparks; Gardnerville; Las Vegas; Reno; Tonopah and Fallon) attempted the “half” Challenge or the full 17-mile hike in honor of the victims of 9/11. A small army of volunteers assured that participants were offered food, water and other support at various checkpoints throughout the course.
Mineral County and SOC Nevada’s Fire and EMS services carefully monitored hikers and volunteers.
Individual efforts included 74-year old Ed Gallegos, a graduate of Mineral County High School who trained all year for the hike and nearly a dozen students from the same high school who received generous pledges in the first-ever 911 hike-a-thon for the youth.
Team efforts included the Nevada Army National Guard, who helped lead the Friday evening 9/11 Memorial parade and the Bodies at Work team that represented four generations of the Lopez family including 80-year old Hawthorne resident Eva in the “half” Challenge.
Each year the “Challenge” provides an opportunity for peak-baggers to reach the highest summit in Mineral County and for others to personally challenge themselves or memorialize a loved one. Plans will soon be underway for next year’s event, the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
The 9/11 Memorial Challenge Committee thanks everyone who has supported this event the past five years. Sponsors, organizers, volunteers, drivers and others who help in some way (large or small) are appreciated as these partnerships are part of what makes Hawthorne, “America’s Patriotic Home,” so very special.