Running for a good cause

Landry Fehrenbacher / Washburn Review

The Brown v. Board of Education Historical Site in Topeka sponsored the Labor Day Walk/Run for Justice. This event started at 9 a.m. on Labor Day and featured a 5 kilometer trail for participants to travel.  The run had no entry fee but did accept donations.

All of the funds raised through the Walk/Run For Justice were donated to the Police and Fire Memorial Fund.  This fund was set up for the families and memorials of the law enforcement, firefighters and EMT’s who lost their lives in the 9-11 attacks.  Although the run was for charity and non competitive, small prizes were presented to the first through third place finishers.

Hazel Gauthier, a second year Washburn Law student and the president of the Washburn Veteran’s Legal Association, was there to show her support.

Janet Rice, the Citizen’s Ambassador for the Police Department, and her friend Kristi Caldwell also attended the event, this being their first 5K.  Caldwell and Rice found out about the run through the Topeka Public Schools Wellness Activities list.

“I’m here for the cause, because of the fallen heroes,” said Rice.

David Carter, the Education Technician at the Brown v. Board Historical Site, was running the event.

“We wanted to put on an event not only to honor those who sacrificed their lives but also to appreciate our local police and firemen,” said Carater.  “That’s what the event’s all about.”

If the run proves to be successful then they hope to make it an annual event.  According to Carater, 85 participants were signed up prior to the start of the event.

Carter, who was once a policeman himself, gave a brief speech about why the run was being held.

“I just had an idea several years back in terms of honoring the police and firemen because you always hear about the negative but you rarely hear about the positive things,” said Carter. “When police, fire and emergency personnel screw up you do hear about it, but on rare occasions, very rare occasions, do you hear when you’re doing a good job.”

“And so really at the heart of this event we want to let our three departments know that they’re doing a great job, that they’re doing a wonderful job,” said Carter. “They make sacrifices on a daily basis, not just getting up and going to work but putting their lives on the line.”