Hundreds turn out for Longmeadow 5K benefiting Wounded Warriors - FOX Carolina 21

Hundreds turn out for Longmeadow 5K benefiting Wounded Warriors

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LONGMEADOW, MA (WSHM) -

More than 500 runners and walkers hit the streets on Saturday morning, taking part in the town's first 5K benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.

The organization helps by providing unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

The organizer of the event, who is a veteran himself, was impressed with Saturday's turnout.

"It means a lot to me to see the people come and support the cause," said Anthony Lawrence, Longmeadow's veterans services officer. "It's more important to the cause to see everybody come to support the same cause. It's really amazing. I'm truly happy."

Prior to the start of the race, the runners heard from several speakers, including Gabriel Gomez.

The former Republican U.S. Senate candidate is a former Navy SEAL.

He said he takes part in as many benefit runs as possible, and this one hit close to home.

"This is the best event you could ever be a part of right now," said Gomez. "There are so many people that have served and come back injured. In reality, they come back and what do they do? They're teachers, doctors and lawyers. They're police officers and firemen. They're the real heroes."

Organizers plan on making the 5K an annual event.

They said they had no real financial goal, but Saturday's attendance and money raised exceeded all expectations.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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