Nearly a year’s work of organizing the 5th Annual 9/11 Memorial Mt. Grant Challenge results in a huge push towards the big day for members of the volunteer committee. The event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12 beginning at 7 a.m.
“Registrations start rolling in and email boxes fill with questions as everyone gears up for the big day,” stated Kathy Trujillo secretary for the 911 Committee. Registration for this year’s event can be accomplished electronically by accessing the event’s website, 911challenge.org and linking to the Active.com site.
Individual sign-ups are $75 and a team of four can register for $50 each.
“The purpose for creating the team category was to encourage families and friends to sign up together and get a reduced price,” said Tammy Adams treasurer for the 911 Committee. Teams are not required to hike together and it is not a relay event. Entrants can sign up for the full 17-mile hike or join the new “half” challenge which will be 9.11 miles (or so).
Last year a number of local youth were treated to entry into the challenge. This year students have been given the opportunity to obtain “pledges” in a hike-a-thon style event. Students will be obtaining pledges per mile or sponsorships for the next couple of weeks and those receiving pledges will not be charged any entry fees. Pledge forms can be obtained at the high school office or at Bodies at Work Gym.
Since Sept. 11 falls on the Friday before the hike, a processional memorial parade has been planned beginning at 5 p.m. Staging for the parade will take place at Wagner’s Hardware parking lot and everyone is welcome to help march the community’s big flag to Veteran’s Memorial Park. The Nevada National Guard 911 Challenge Team has agreed to lead the parade processional and they will arrive bright and early Saturday morning to begin the ascent up the mountain.
“Everyone is welcome to participate in the parade and memorial event as this is an opportunity to remember those who lost their lives on 9/11, which is one of the reasons why we created the Challenge,” stated Dave Womack, member of the committee since its origin and chairman. In addition to the big flag carriers and Challenge teams, anyone who would like to put together an entry is welcome to participate. Contact Trujillo at 316-0388 if you have questions.
At the conclusion of the parade, the big flag will be raised and a memorial service will be held at Veterans Park. Registrations for Saturday’s hike will be taken and for those who have already registered, they can pick up their packets/waiver forms and event instructions. Food and entertainment are expected during the evening as well.
Many of the meetings during the past few months have been held in the commander’s office at the Hawthorne Army Depot. LTC Gregory Gibbons, Vice-Chairman and acting chairman, has been instrumental in coordinating the effort between the Army and community to strengthen the event. This year the committee became a non-profit organization in the State of Nevada and was awarded an $8,000 Nevada Commission on Tourism Grant to help with promotion. Funding in the amount of $1,560 was also awarded to the committee from the local fair and recreation board.
To assure that hikers and volunteers have a safe and enjoyable day on the hill aid stations will be available with water and food, emergency medical services will be strategically placed and Port-a-Potties will be available. Kirk Bausman is coordinating volunteer efforts and anyone who would like to help at aid stations during the day can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Many thanks to all who have helped coordinate this effort and who will volunteer time and expertise on the day of the event,” said committee member Wade Barton. Barton will be one of the friendly faces seen at the finish line offering commemorative coins and congratulations. Sponsorships for this year’s event are being coordinated by Rick Isom and proceeds from the 911 Memorial Challenge go to the Veteran’s Memorial Park.