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updated: 5/25/2014 10:19 AM

Arlington Heights run raises money for military families

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  • Gov. Pat Quinn hugs an athlete before the start of the 11th annual Salute Inc. Got Freedom? run/walk Sunday in Arlington Heights. The event raises money for military personnel and their families.

       Gov. Pat Quinn hugs an athlete before the start of the 11th annual Salute Inc. Got Freedom? run/walk Sunday in Arlington Heights. The event raises money for military personnel and their families.
    Matt Arado | Staff Photographer

  • Participants in the 11th annual Salute Inc. Got Freedom? run/walk head down Miner Street Sunday in Arlington Heights.

       Participants in the 11th annual Salute Inc. Got Freedom? run/walk head down Miner Street Sunday in Arlington Heights.
    Matt Arado | Staff Photographer

  • Gov. Pat Quinn, right, talks to Arlington Heights resident Will Beiersdorf, who co-founded Salute Inc. with his wife, Mary Beth. The Beiersdorfs have organized the group's annual Memorial Day weekend run/walk since 2003.

       Gov. Pat Quinn, right, talks to Arlington Heights resident Will Beiersdorf, who co-founded Salute Inc. with his wife, Mary Beth. The Beiersdorfs have organized the group's annual Memorial Day weekend run/walk since 2003.
    Matt Arado | Staff Photographer

 
 

More than 1,000 people walked, ran or rode down Miner Street in Arlington Heights Sunday morning to honor and assist military personnel and their families.

The 11th annual Salute Inc. Got Freedom? event included a 5K run/walk, a 10K run/walk and, new this year, a 5K for athletes with physical challenges.

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Proceeds will go to Salute Inc., an organization that helps military families meet a variety of physical, monetary and emotional needs.

Arlington Heights resident Mary Beth Beiersdorf, who co-founded Salute Inc. with her husband, Will, said she was delighted with the turnout.

"It was the spirit of the Arlington Heights community that inspired us to start this, and that spirit continues to keep us going," she said.

Gov. Pat Quinn, a vocal supporter of veterans and their families, helped get the activities started.

"It's our job to take care of those who sacrifice so much for our country," he said.

The Beiersdorfs created Salute Inc. in 2003, shortly after Will returned home from active duty as a Navy reservist. During Will's time overseas, Mary Beth was struck by the financial and emotional tolls his absence took on her and her three sons.

The first event Salute Inc. organized was a fundraising run/walk held over the Memorial Day weekend, and the event has continued ever since.

For more on Salute Inc, go to saluteinc.org.

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