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Thank you to Deep Creek Community Church Pro Team for producing this video, thanks for the drone footage Phil Magill, and thanks to Adam Willis for producing the drone video!

A Race To Help Local Veterans in Need

Punta Gorda, FL will host its 5th annual 10K and 5K race on Memorial Day. Runners and walkers are encouraged to register for the race early as the race has sold out the past four years. The Memorial Day 10K & 5K will continue its 5 year race series honoring each branch of our United States Armed Forces. This year’s theme is dedicated to the United States Air Force. Don’t miss out on the unique Air Fore themed finisher medal or the chance to collect all five branch medals and a commemorative 5 year gift. Proceeds will go to local Veterans in need.

“Our Armed Forces go through a lot even after they’ve returned from deployment, and sometimes need a hand up, so now it’s our turn to give back,” says Allen Carsten, head of a Veterans group in Charlotte County. “Those who make it home have scars, and some we can’t see.” As a Veteran himself, Carsten found healing in starting up The Veterans Group at his local church, Deep Creek Community Church. “Reaching out to help another person, there’s great healing in that. That’s what it’s all about.” Composed of men who have served in our Armed Forces, The Veterans Group began visiting homeless Veterans in Charlotte County in late 2013. “It’s about physically and spiritually making a difference in a someone’s life who sacrificed and fought for our freedom,” says Carsten.

The Memorial Day Race enables The Veterans Group to help both Veteran initiative organizations and individual Veterans in the community. The Veterans group matched funds raised for a female Veteran who was in need of financial support for her children while she was battling cancer and unable to work. Money was donated to the Renaissance Home for homeless Veterans in Port Charlotte as well as individuals living in the home needing immediate help with rent. An outdoor sign was made and installed at the Punta Gorda Veterans Village, which resulted in increased exposure of the organization and new donations from the community. Residents at the Village received a donation to their entertainment fund to see movies, enjoy outings and have a better quality of life. The Disabled American Veterans received a significant donation from the race. The Veterans group has been able to help several individual Veterans and their families in the community with financial assistance. One Veteran appreciated the assistance and contributed back to The Veterans Group once he got on his feet. Forty to Fifty gas gift cards are given to Veterans in need at Christmastime each year. The homeless coalition received new blankets and clothes for the homeless veterans.

15 Passenger Van Presented to Volunteers of America Veterans Village

15 Passenger Van Presented to Volunteers of America Veterans Village

At the starting line of the 2016 Memorial Day Race, a 15 passenger van was presented to the Volunteers of America Veterans Village of Punta Gorda so they can transport their Veteran residents to the VA for doctor appointments and community events where they volunteer. 

Veteran Habitat Home

New Home for Charlotte County Veteran in Partnership with Habitat for Humanity

“We were honored to be able to build a home for a veteran in 2017, but in 2018 we want to go back to helping as any many veterans as possible,” says Roy Borrego, Board Member and Co-Race Director. “This is truly all of ‘Our Turn’ to show we care and give all that we can for those that have sacrificed so much! Band with us in making this our biggest year and let’s see how many veterans we can give a hand up. Let’s make a difference in as many lives as we can this year, but we need everyone to run with us and have friends and family run with us virtually.” Anyone interested in helping the nonprofit meet the goal of raising $75,000 can sign up as a runner/walker online and select their preferred race distance 10k or 5k, local or virtual.

Join the race to make a difference within the community. Sign up for the Annual Memorial Day 10K and 5K Race set for Monday, May 28, 2018 in Punta Gorda by visiting www.memorialdayrace.org. 

Thank you to our 2017 sponsors: The Borrego-Seegers Family Foundation, Save a Lot, The Foot Landing, Harvest Food Distributors, Farr Law Firm, Adams Group, Harborside Dental Associates, KamiPractics, Spinal Health & Rehab Integrative Medicine, Florida Hand Center, Deep Creek Community Church, Dara B. Sarah, CPA, P.A., The Andreae Group RE/MAX Harbor Realty, Jason’s Deli, Crystal, Gregg’s Automotive, and Millennium Physician Group.

If you or your organization would like to sponsor the race, contact Roy Borrego at 941-628-2820. If you would like to make an online donation, please visit our donation page.

About It’s Our Turn, Inc.

Founded in 2014, It’s Our Turn, Inc. is a nonprofit 501c3 with the sole purpose of helping local Veterans in need.

About Deep Creek Community Church

Located in Punta Gorda next to Charlotte High School, Deep Creek Community Church’s mission statement is “Turning unchurched and unplugged people into totally devoted followers of Jesus Christ.” Several Life Groups meet during the week. Services are Saturday nights at 5:00pm and Sunday mornings at 9:00am and 10:45am at 1500 Cooper Street, Punta Gorda, FL. http://www.dc3.tv

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