Relay for Wounded Veterans at Ranch Bernardo HS

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If you are looking for a place that truly embodies the values of community and camaraderie, then look no further than the community surrounding Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego California.  Last weekend, athletes from the Rancho Bernardo football team, along with their student peers lead a 12 hour relay to raise awareness about the sacrifices that our wounded veterans have endured.  Over 15 teams of 12 individuals participated in the relay event with each individual running for approximately one hour.  The bonds of friendship and teamwork were evident as veterans, coaches, students, and local Navy ROTC cadets from the University of San Diego all toughed it out together.  The thunderous support was steady through the night from parents, school faculty and staff, and surrounding citizens and businesses.

Event Chairperson, Kathleen Kennedy along with Team RWB members Joe Molina, Blayne Smith, John Keith, Pete Jackson, and others spearheaded the planning and left no stone unturned.  The event kicked off with a Parachute Demonstration by the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs who jumped into the football stadium to present the colors.  The jump was accompanied by the National Anthem performed by the Rancho Bernardo Madrigals.   Over 10 local businesses donated money, food and water for the event.  Proud parents and chaperones helped man the concession stand grills throughout the evening.  Bands and music clubs from the school played inspirational music to support the athletes while they ran.  Local community members even gave away tickets to a local golf event and admission passes to the nearby USS Midway.

As I see it, the true inspiration behind this story rests in the great lengths these mature young students went through to gain understanding and appreciation for the sacrifices of our nation’s wounded veterans.  The support and gratitude that they showed the local community of service members and veterans will go a long way in the fight to help wounded veterans and their families effectively reintegrate into society.  The students of Rancho Bernardo High School demonstrated initiative, maturity and a strength of character that gives me pride and assurance in the future of our great nation.

Overall, the event generated donations of over $12,000, which will go directly to helping our wounded veterans and their families.  Ten businesses sponsored banners with contributions over $500. Banner materials were supplied by HP and will be displayed inside local businesses to continue spreading awareness about Team Red, White & Blue’s mission. Approximately, 200 people from the surrounding community came out to support the event and the consensus from all who participated was that this year was the inaugural kickoff for an annual relay that will grow bigger and better each year.

Hats off to everyone who planned, participated and supported this inspirational relay, keep up the fire!

It’s Our Turn!