By Sherrie Norris
Hunter’s Heroes will host its 8th Annual 5k Race on September 11, 2021 to honor the memory of all local heroes, but especially this year to remember Watauga County’s most recent fallen officers, Sgt. Chris War and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox.
While much has changed in our world in the last year, the folks behind the scenes of Hunter’s Heroes said, they remain committed to their mission —”To inspire all of us to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to the community, and also to embrace the loved ones that lost someone too soon.”
Emphasizing the fact that we all have the power to make a difference in our community and beyond, Hunter’s Heroes invites the community to participate in the upcoming event as a way to remember those who have been honored previously, and to remind the Ward and Fox families that neither they nor their loved ones will be forgotten.
About the Race
The 5K race will begin at 8:30 a.m. (Saturday, Sept. 11) at the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office.
The route for all participants —runners and walkers — will be from the office parking lot on Hodges Gap Road to Oak Grove Road to Hwy. 421 south, following King Street to the light at Mellow Mushroom in downtown Boone near the Watauga County Courthouse. Take a right onto Water Street, then a left onto Rivers Street. Follow Rivers Street to Hwy. 321 South. After passing through three lights, participants will reach their final destination at the Boone Police Department on the right.
An awards ceremony and celebration will follow the run with community members gathered to cheer on the participants and winners.
Online registration is suggested, but you may also register on the morning of the race from 6:30 a.m.- 8 a.m.
Fees are $20 for individuals who register between July 1 and September 10; $30 for individuals who register between September 3 until 8 a.m. on race day.
Age categories are: 12 and under| 13 – 19 | 19 – 29 | 30 – 39| 40 – 49 | 50 – 59 | 60 – 69 | 70 – 79| 80+.
The top three male and top three female runners will be awarded and will receive hand-made local pottery.
Those registered by midnight on September 1 will be able to pick up their bib and T-shirt at Watauga Sheriff Department in Boone from 5 p.m. -8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10 or on the morning of the race.
If someone else is picking up your packet, they will need to show a photo ID and present a confirmation Email.
You will need to park at the church across from the Sheriff’s office.
More information and details will be included with the pre-race and post-race e-mails.
The event will be held rain or shine.
Can’t Make It To The Race? Do It Virtually!
If you can’t make it for the actual live event, you are invited to register for the First Annual Virtual Hunter’s Heroes 5K! Run — a 5K anytime between August 11 — October 16, 2021.
An organization spokesperson tells us that anyone who signs up will receive a T-shirt and $5 dollar off voucher for next year for an in-person entry or for the Second Annual Virtual Hunter’s Heroes 5K.
“A virtual 5K is definitely worth considering if you have not run one before, or if you want to give back but are not able to attend on September 11, 2021. Your registration will further our outreach, and expand the work we do in our community. We cannot do this without you!”
Register today for the events at www.huntersheroes2013.com
And A Jeep Raffle, Too
This year, with the help of Rubitrux and Ross Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge of Boone, Hunter’s Heroes has been able to build a one-of-a-kind 2021 Jeep Rubicon with a Back the Blue theme to be raffled off.
Only 1500 tickets at $100 each will be sold and the drawing will be held and streamed live via Hunter’s Heroes’ Facebook at 7 p.m. on October 16, 2021.
All proceeds will benefit Hunter’s Heroes to keep the organization active throughout the year in helping the community and public safety in the future.
To enter the raffle, go to the Hunter’s Heroes website or purchase a ticket from a board member.
Participants must be U.S. residents and at least 18 years of age. Any participant not 18 years or older that wins will be disqualified. Proof of age is required.
The winner of the raffle will be determined by a random drawing and this person will not have any affiliation with the organization.
The winner will be contacted after the drawing, based on the contact information provided by the purchaser, to verify eligibility and arrange prize pickup. The Rubicon Jeep is not redeemable for cash.
The winner of the raffle authorizes Hunter’s Heroes to use, at its discretion, the winner’s name and any images for promotional and marketing purposes with no additional considerations.
Board Members, and current volunteers of Hunter’s Heroes and their immediate family (household members) are not eligible to enter.
At least 750 tickets will have to be sold to cover the cost of the Jeep. If 750 tickets are not sold all ticket sales will result in donations to Hunter’s Heroes and the Rubicon Jeep will be relinquished back to RubiTrux of Boone for them to sale to pay costs.
What is Hunter’s Heroes All About?
Hunter’s Heroes began as a Memorial Run for Deputy William Mast Jr. who died suddenly in the line of duty on July 26, 2012. His son, Hunter Mast, was born 17 days later.
The nonprofit organization honors public safety officers and military personnel for their service to North Carolina and to the United States. “Our intentions are to remember and celebrate their commitment and to provide financial support to their families in times of need.”
The main objective of the organization is to pay tribute to those we have lost and offer comfort to their families.
“We want to inspire our community to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and to embrace the loved ones who lost a family member. Please consider joining our efforts by becoming one of Hunter’s Heroes.”
About 2021 Honorees
The 8th annual Hunter’s Heroes Memorial Run will be held in memory of Sgt. Chris Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox who lost their lives in the line of duty on April 28, 2021. Deputy Fox started his career with the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office for three years before moving to Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and served for two years prior to his death. He left behind his father and sister, as well as his high school sweetheart of seven years.
Sgt. Chris Ward had been in law enforcement for eight years, starting his career with Beech Mountain Police Department. He is survived by his wife, who was his high school sweetheart, and two daughters, ages 19 and 5.
Hunter’s Heroes will continue to honor the memory of these officers, as well as that of Deputy William Mast, Jr., Major Ryan Scott David, Officer Jason M. Crisp, Travis Gryder, NC Highway Patrol Trooper Benjamin Chappell, Sgt. Dillon Baldridge, Randy Collins, as well as other members of the community who have been honored and memorialized, including: Peyton Elizabeth Townsend, Katie Watson, Jenny McCourry, Leda Winebarger, Elayne Bishop, Levi Boyter and Aiden Amason.
Volunteers Always Needed
Hunter’s Heroes couldn’t manage without the help of many volunteers. The organization would like to thank all those who have helped in the past and those who continue to assist in fundraising efforts.
If you would like to volunteer at the upcoming event, contact volunteer coordinator, Emily Greer at (828) 773-9986 or email [email protected].
For any additional questions, visit [email protected].