The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is fortunate to have hundreds of volunteers who lend their talents and time to raise awareness and funds for our programs supporting the families of fallen and wounded special operations forces. We certainly would not be able to provide college scholarships to the surviving children of fallen warriors nor provide financial grants to the families of severely wounded special operators. It is through our event hosts, that the foundation is successfully able to deliver life-altering programs.
Take for example, Tampa resident Karen Ellis, who dedicated running 2,000 miles throughout 2015 to raise funds for the SOWF. Karen, a former school teacher, is passionate about education and children. So, when considering incorporating a charitable aspect to her rigid training and running schedule, Karen decided on the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. To reach her lofty goal of 2,000 miles over 12 months, Karen would need to log in nearly 40 miles per week. Over the past 12 months, Karen ran through extreme heat, humidity, rain, cold, windy, hilly, early and dark conditions. Her legs were tired and heavy, and her mind was giving out. But through it all, she persevered.
“It was never about the miles,” said Karen. “The miles brought awareness, but it was always about the wounded and fallen SOF men and women and their children. They do the impossible every single day, so running 2,000 miles is nothing compared to what they do. The running was the easy part.”
Karen accomplished her goal in early December and celebrated with a victory run to MacDill Air Force Base, home of the headquarters for the United States Special Operations Command and the Special Operations Memorial. Retired Navy Vice Adm. Joe Maguire, President and CEO, Special Operations Warrior Foundation and Army Major Gen. Mike Nagata greeted Karen on her finale run to MacDill Air Force Base.
“Thanks so much for raising awareness and funds for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation,” said Maguire. “We certainly could not fulfill our noble mission without wonderful people like you, Karen.”
But it was Major Gen. Nagata who said it best when he described Karen’s actions as being based in love. No one asked her to do it. Nor was she obligated in any way. It was love that drove Karen to lace up her running shoes and pound the streets of Tampa.
Karen’s efforts raised more than $7,000 for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. If you are interested more, check out Karen’s inspirational blog
If you are inspired by Karen’s efforts and want to make a donation in her honor, visit her fundraising page.
There are many ways to support SOWF through fundraising ideas – such as bowling tournaments, barbecue parties, and athletic events such as running, biking, and mountain climbing. If are interested in raising awareness and funds for the SOWF in 2016, please contact us at (813) 805-9400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.