Thousands of walkers and bikers are gathering across the country to cover more than 15,000 miles to honor U.S. veterans and first responders. This weekend the national relay will get local.
The Carry the Load nonprofit fundraising procession will come through Ketchum on Sunday, May 23.
“Those who join us can take time to remember family and friends who served our country,” said Sergio Benitez, media coordinator for Carry the Load. “It will be an opportunity to meet others and learn about the meaning of Memorial Day.”
Participants can gather at the Ketchum Town Square at 5:45 p.m. for a 1.37-mile walk beside the relay team. The walk will return to the Ketchum Town Square at 7 p.m. People can register to participate in the event at carrytheload.org/register.
In addition to being an outlet for emotional healing, Carry the Load raises much-needed funds to assist with the many challenges facing military, veterans, first responders and their families, states a press release.
“Peer-to-peer fundraising goes toward recovery services, such as counseling, adaptive training, suicide prevention, job placements, home improvements, educational scholarships for children of the fallen, and many other services,” it states.
The 22-day event was founded in 2011 by veteran Navy Seals Clint Bruce and Stephen Holly.
“After serving on active-duty post-9/11, many of us returned home having lost good men and women whom we served alongside,” said Holley, co-founder, president and CEO of Carry the Load. “We returned home to what felt like a nation that didn’t care. By walking alongside and sharing stories with hundreds of supporters over the past 10 years, we’ve come to realize people do care.”
By May 18, more than a decade after its founding, Carry the Load had raised almost $30 million for numerous organizations, including Higher Ground.
The event reaches 50 states and more than 29 countries and runs through Memorial Day.
This year people can participate by hosting a Carry It Anywhere experience, organizing a youth Carry the Flag activity, walking in the National Relay, attending a City Rally, fundraising for the nation’s heroes, and taking part virtually throughout the 32-day event.
For more information go to carrytheload.org.