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Freedom run/walk to honor Friese, earn park funds

By Pat Maurer Review Correspondent

A special fundraiser for the Harrison Veterans’ Freedom Park is coming up this weekend.

Everyone is invited to join in Saturday, April 27 at the second annual “Freedom/Friese 5K run/walk in memory of Spc. Robert Friese. The event, which begins at 10 a.m. is held on the date Friese gave the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation.

Veterans Director Renee’ Haley said, “We have made some enhancements to our event this year and your participation and support is needed to make this park a reality. We will have several Soldiers coming from Robert’s unit out of Fort Hood, Texas and a National Guard training unit from Grayling. We are hoping that you will come out to show your support.”

Registration will still be open on the day of the event and everyone is invited to come and show their support whether they are able to participate or not.

There will be hot dogs and hamburgers on sale and brick order forms available, with Veterans Freedom Park Committee members there to go over the design of the new park and answer questions.

Haley added, “We have a unique opportunity to build a Veterans Park in Clare County that is like nothing else for the entire State of Michigan. We do not have a suitable Veterans Memorial anywhere close to this location that gives tribute to ALL veterans and includes all war eras that honor our nation’s heroes. This is our opportunity to give back to them and their families.”

She added, “This will be a state of the art park with a Kiosk system and an education trail that will surround the park with side areas dedicated just for the war eras. We need to raise $400,000.00 to make this a reality. We currently have raised $35,000.00. We have applied for several grants and are working on others. Once we have at least one-third of the funds needed, we can start phase one of the park, which will be located just across from the Clare County building.”

She said they hope to reach that goal by the end of the year. “. If we sell 1000 bricks for $100 each by the end of the summer, this will be possible!”

Haley said the next big event will be a golf outing on June 1 at the Tamaracks Golf Course More information is available at www.friese5k.com or at www.veteransfreedompark.com. “There is no other location better than Central Michigan to build this place to ‘Honor, Remember and Reflect’ on the sacrifices of this nation’s greatest assets- our veterans!” Haley said.

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