Unique Opportunity for Runners Provides Assistance to Veterans and Military Families

The summer calendar is well-populated with events for runners of all skill levels, but the upcoming Homestretch for Heroes 5K run/walk and 1-mile walk offers one of the most unique scenarios of the running season.

Hosted by SALUTE, INC., the Palatine-based nonprofit organization that supports the short-term financial needs of military families, Homestretch for Heroes is one of the few running events that takes place in the evening, and certainly the only one that has participants see their image on the jumbotron as they cross the finish line on the track at Arlington International Racecourse. Registration is now open for the run which takes place on August 6.

"While we are well-known for our outstanding running events including our Memorial Day Weekend 5 and 10K in Arlington Heights, and our Team SALUTE that runs in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon each year, those events are simply visible means of building awareness and raising funds for our central mission, which is delivering short term financial assistance to bridge the temporary income gaps and meet the basic needs of post 9/11 veterans," said SALUTE, INC. co-founder and Executive Director Mary Beth Beiersdorf. "Our Homestretch for Heroes event in conjunction with Arlington International Racecourse is a way to introduce more people to our mission and to create a fun event for runners, their families and their co-workers."

The unique 6:30 p.m. start time is just one of the features that separates Homestretch for Heroes from the volume of other running events in the Chicagoland area.

"The courses for both the 5k run and the 1-mile walk begin on the grounds of the racecourse," said event director Sue Hussey. "Both finish on the famous track at Arlington where runners are then treated to a free beverage of their choice, including a cold beer." Finishers also receive two free passes to any remaining date in the 2019 racing season at Arlington.

Hussey said that while individual runners and families make up a bulk of the attendees, more than a dozen companies have also formed teams to compete in the corporate challenge. "Forming a team is a great way for workers to get together and have fun away from the office while also helping raise funds for an important cause."

Those interested in this unique and enjoyable event can register at

"How many of us promise ourselves to make time for doing some new and interesting things in the summer and then get bogged down in the usual routine?" Hussey asked. "Here's a great opportunity to have fun, do something good for others, and build a memory or start a tradition with family or co-workers. We look forward to seeing runners and walkers enjoy the night with us on the 6th."

For more information on the mission of SALUTE, INC., visit

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