‘We still need everybody’s support’; USC Veteran’s Day 5k raises money to build Fisher House

‘We still need everybody’s support:’ USC Veteran’s Day 5k raises money to build Fisher House
‘We still need everybody’s support:’ USC Veteran’s Day 5k raises money to build Fisher House(WIS)
Published: Nov. 7, 2021 at 8:16 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The fourth annual USC Veteran’s Day 5k took place Sunday afternoon in Downtown Columbia to raise money to build a house on the grounds of the Dorn VA Medical Center on Garner’s Ferry Road.

The Fisher House Foundation is a nationwide effort to provide free lodging to veterans’ families while their family member is going through a medical procedure at the VA hospital.

Veteran and race organizer Brooks Herring says the house will have a statewide impact.

“The Dorn VA here in Columbia actually services veterans—over 100,000 veterans across the state of South Carolina,” said Herring. “All the way from the Low Country in Horry County to the Upstate. And when those veterans come to the Dorn VA for an extended-stay procedure, a surgery, something like that, it’s important to have their families with them.”

In the first three years of the race, $32,000 was raised. Today, the goal was $20,000.

With registration upwards of 320 people and close to pre-pandemic levels, organizer Jared Evans is confident they’ll hit the mark.

“There’s really great support here throughout the community for the veterans and military, so we’re incredibly grateful for all the support and for everybody that came out,” said Evans.

Army veteran David Hale ran today because of his home away from home experience at a Fisher House.

“I’ve stayed in a Fisher House in Missouri when I was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and was going through stage four cancer treatments and so, what a great way to give back,” said Hale. “A lot less stress not having to worry about any type of bills.”

The Columbia house will offer 16 suites for veterans’ families, adding up to more than 6,000 nights of free lodging per year.

The Friends of Fisher House Columbia committee must raise more than $3 million that will be matched by the Fisher House Foundation to build the house.

Organizers of the USC Veteran’s Day 5k race say the work isn’t over once the house is finished. They want to continue hosting the race to benefit other local organizations that help veterans.

For student veteran Jeremiah Weaver, participating is a way of showing his support for others.

“I run for the veterans who can’t run and find support for other veterans to show the community that we are here, we still exist, and we still need everybody’s support,” said Weaver.

To learn more about the Fisher House Columbia, visit their website.

To keep up with the UofSC Veterans & Military Services, click here.

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