The sun was shining and so were the faces of the participants.
The event was held to “raise funds to sponsor seats on the Honor Flight, which is a program that flies World War II vets to Washington DC,” said Willard High School vo-ag teacher Tiffany Nuhfer. “Our hope is to sponsor at least five seats on that to get veterans to see the memorial.”
The run was organized by Nuhfer, along with fellow teachers Cathy Weaver, Courtney Carnahan and Jason Ratliff.
The Honor Flights are one-day trips for the vets, who each have a guardian to help them along the way.
Willard students will be at the airport to welcome and help the vets get through the airport when they return from Washington. Willard student Mitchell Carnahan has been approved as a guardian and will make the trip with a vet.
"It was perfect weather,” Nuhfer said. “This has been a good fundraiser for us and we plan to do it in the future.”
Willard City Schools Superintendent Jeff Ritz was thrilled not only with the turnout, but with all of the hard work the four teachers put into the event.
“Jason Ratliff, Tiffin Nuhfer, Courtney Carnahan and Cathy Weaver are the originators to honor our vets,” he said. “It started in November when they had a large assembly where well over 200 veterans were in attendance.
“They did the Honor Flight and now they did the 5K generating money to pay for the honor flights. It is all on them. It is their brainchild. It’s all them who have done this.
“This is something we are going to continue.”
This has been a tough month for for schools around the country following the Feb. 14 shooting at Parkland High School in Florida where 17 people were killed.
Since then there has been talk of gun control, mental health issues, student walkouts and even teachers being armed.
It’s not an easy issue and it is something school officials everywhere have to deal with.
That’s why this event was so refreshing. For one day, at least, the talk was about the teachers and students and all the good they are doing.
And it is all for our veterans, who did so much for us. This is their way of giving back.
Joe Centers is Reflector managing editor. He can be reached at [email protected]