A new, student-organized 5K event in Mill Race Park will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, which supports returning veterans.

The Sept. 11 Patriot Day 5K race was initiated by Matthew Baker, a government teacher at Columbus Signature Academy — New Tech High School.

Baker said he was looking for a project to teach civic responsibility to students, and 35 of them are helping with the race. It will tie in with the Sept. 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Students have been planning the course, seeking sponsorships and doing marketing, Baker said.

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The race begins in Mill Race Park and travels along the People Trail on Jonathan Moore Pike before heading back toward the park, said Ralyssa Burton, a senior who is involved with the project.

Raising public awareness has been a key focus in the students’ design of flyers.

“We wanted to involve patriotic colors,” said Maredeth Sims, a senior and a member of the event marketing team who plans to study marketing in college after she graduates.

Sponsorships have been secured from several businesses, some of which are donating gift cards toward raffle prizes that will be given away.

“The students have done a tremendous job with this,” said Baker, who anticipates it will become an annual event.

CSA New Tech Principal Mike Reed also commended the students for their community involvement.

“We want to instill a sense of civic responsibility into our students,” Reed said. “We emphasize the value of giving back to the community and this is one great example of how our students do that. I think it’s a great learning experience.”

The students said they hope some runners will use it as a training event for the Sept. 23 Mill Race Marathon.

How to sign up

The Patriot Day 5K will be at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11 starting in Mill Race Park and is open to all ages.

Registration, which is $20 in advance through Sept. 8, can be done online and includes a T-shirt. Cost of the race the day of the event is $25.

More information: facebook.com/PatriotDay5KColumbus

https://sites.google.com/bcsc.k12.in.us/patriotday5k/home

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com