WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- For the first time, Wreaths Across America is bringing its fundraising 5K race to Lafayette. The organization's goal is to honor veterans even during a pandemic.
"A person dies twice in their life. You die for the first time you take your last breath and the second time when your name is no longer said," said Dana Vann, mother of a veteran who died overseas in 2002.
Wreaths Across America works to keep the names of veterans alive. Around Christmas time, the organization provides wreaths to be laid on veterans gravestones. The Stem to Stone 5K Road Race is going to help fund it.
"This is not only a way for people to get out and exercise and be part of something bigger than them but it also is a way to raise awareness for Wreath Across America," said Vann.
Vann took part in bringing the Wreaths Across America wreath-laying event to Tippecanoe County ten years ago. This comes after visiting the Arlington National Military Cemetery in Virginia, where her son was laid to rest in 2002.
She's seen first hand the positive impact this organization can have on veteran families.
"Wreaths Across America, every year says all the names even in Arlington Cemetery, every one of those heroes is remembered," said Vann.
The 5K costs $35 to participate and part of the proceeds will go toward funding wreaths. The first 200 people to sign up for the race in Lafayette will receive a shirt and a metal. While a virtual race isn't ideal, Vann hopes people remember the reason behind it all.
"Whether we were all running together or we were all running individually, we're all running for the same cause and that's to remember our veterans," said Vann.
Registration for the 5K is open now, you can register here. Race day is set for Saturday, Sep. 5. This year's Wreaths Across America wreath-laying day is set for Saturday, Dec. 19.