The 15th anniversary of the 911 attacks will be remembered with reverence this weekend as the community prepares for the Annual 911 Memorial Mt. Grant Challenge. Organizers for the yearly event have noticed a trend in large groups and families using the occasion to plan a reunion or get-together. Participants will be hiking in memory of the more than three thousand civilians who lost their lives, and honoring the millions more, including thousands of first responders who were impacted by the events of the day.
Gloria Lopez, owner and operator of Bodies at Work, informed sponsors that more than 14 members of her family would attempt the climb again this year. Bill Bray, MCHS graduate and local chiropractor will bring his family from Carson City to participate for the first time. Additionally, teams from sponsors such as SOC LLC, ERRG and the Nevada National Guard have committed to climbing this year. Individual entries are also encouraged, and all hikers are guaranteed plenty of support from the various aid stations that will be available during the day.
Mineral County High School students have been offered an opportunity to join the Challenge again this year.
Students will be asked to make a donation of any amount instead of the typical $75 fee. They will receive t-shirts and finishers medals for entering and a “chance to participate in a life-changing event,” stated Rob Mathias, Chairman of the Challenge who wanted to be sure that every interested youth could participate.
The 911 Memorial Parade will stage at Wagner’s Hardware parking lot beginning at 5:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to participate and help carry the big flag down Main Street. LTC Scott Bishop will offer a time of remembrance at the flag pole followed by a community spaghetti feed sponsored by Barley’s Sports Bar and registration/packet pick up.
Saturday morning the Challenge organizers will arrive bright, and early (6 a.m.) to the Challenge staging area (Cottonwood Drive) for final registration and packet pick up. The Half Challengers will be transported to their starting line, followed by the Full IronMan Challenge beginning at sunrise (approximately 7 a.m.)
Sunday, Sept. 11 the BPO Elks will host a breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. with lodge members coordinating moments of silence and remembrance throughout the morning.
Proceeds from the annual event are earmarked for the Veteran’s Memorial Park and subsidizing the purchase and maintenance of the big flag that proudly waves. Information can be found on the website 911memorialmt.grant challenge.org or on the organization’s Facebook page.