Sixth Annual Hunter’s Heroes Events Kick off Friday, Race on Saturday

Published Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 1:54 pm

By Sherrie NorrisSherrie Norris

The High Country was shattered by the July 26, 2012 death of Deputy Sheriff William Mast, Jr., and the circumstances that surrounded the tragedy for all involved. However, thanks to the caring community that we are — and one that sticks together in good times and bad — a bright light was illuminated through a memorial event the following year which continues to grow brighter every year.

Proceeds from this year’s Hunter’s Heroes Family Celebration on Friday will go to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association in honor of Levi Boyter, the son of Andrew and Danielle Boyter, pictured here, who recently received a kidney transplant. Saturday’s William Mast Memorial Run will benefit Blue Star Mothers of the High Country and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

This coming weekend, Hunter’s Heroes, an event named for Mast’s son, who was born 17 days after his father’s death, will once again bring the community together as one in an effort to not only remember a fallen hero, but to help others in their time of need.

The sixth annual Hunter’s Heroes Memorial Run and Celebration kicks off Friday, May 18 at Greenway Baptist Church with a fundraising lunch, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., followed by dinner, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. The evening meal will be served in conjunction with a carnival atmosphere featuring fun activities for the whole family. Cost for the meal is $4 for children and $8 for adults. Barbecue, Burgers and Brews is donating the pork barbecue, with other local restaurants providing the sides for both meals. Dessert donations will be greatly appreciated and may be delivered to Greenway Church at any time during the day on Frida

Patrons may eat in at either lunch or dinner. Take-outs and deliveries will be available from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; for deliveries, call (828) 773-9986.

Additional tickets are required for the carnival games, face-painting, bounce house and more.

Those tickets are $4 for children ages 4 and under; $8 for children 5-12.

Honoring Levi

All proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association in honor of Levi Boyter, the son of Andrew and Danielle Boyter, who at 2½, has experienced serious kidney failure since birth, requiring lengthy hospitalizations, surgical procedures, dialysis, and most recently, a kidney transplant. He is currently doing well and recovering at home. Hopefully, the Boyter family will be in attendance at the event.

Running to Remember

On Saturday, May 19, the annual William Mast Memorial 5K and 10-Miler Race will once again take place, with a celebration picnic following the race.

This year’s race is in memory of Sgt. Dillon C. Baldridge, 22, who was killed in Afghanistan in June 2017.

A resident of Youngsville, NC, Baldridge was a member of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division with family in Ashe County, where he was laid to rest. His family was given the opportunity to choose to donate proceeds from Saturday’s events to their charity of choice and chose Blue Star Mothers of the High Country (http://bsmhc.webs.com) and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) (https://www.taps.org/)

The William Mast Memorial 5K and 10-Miler Race will be dedicated to the memory of Sgt. Dillon C. Baldridge who was killed in Afghanistan in June 2017.

Online registration has closed, but interested individuals may register on Friday at Greenway Baptist Church or beginning at 6:30 a.m. Saturday at the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, where the race will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Registration (until Friday evening) is also available this week, with a $5 discount, at Up-N- Running in the New Market Center near Big Lots.

Registration is $30 for the 5K and $40 for the 10-Miler.

The 5K will end at the Boone Police Department on Blowing Rock in Boone; the 10-miler will end at Blowing Rock Police Department in Blowing Rock.

Awards will be given to the top three male and female in all age categories for each race. The age categories are as follows Up to 12; 13 – 19;19 – 29; 30 – 39; 40 – 49; 50 – 59; 60 – 69; 70 – 79; 80-plus.

T-shirts are included for those who pre-registered, with others available on a first-come, first-serve basis on race day.

Packets may be picked up Friday, May 18, 2-8 p.m., at Greenway Church or Saturday morning at the registration site, 6:30-8 am.

The awards ceremony and free food for everyone at the picnic will begin at 10 a.m. in the park at Blowing Rock.

Proceeds from Saturday’s events will go to benefit Blue Star Mothers of the High Country (http://bsmhc.webs.com) and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) (https://www.taps.org/)

A Message on behalf of Hunter’s Heroes:

Emily Greer, who works tirelessly as part of the Hunter’s Heroes Board of Directors to make these events possible each year, hopes to inspire our community to remember those, like Mast, who gave the ultimate sacrifice — and also to embrace the loved ones who have lost someone too soon. “We honor public safety officers and military personnel of their service to North Carolina and to the United States, and our intention is to remember and celebrate their commitment and to provide financial support to their families in times of need.”

For more information, visit huntersheroes2013.com of follow on Facebook.

 

 

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