Veterans Day 5K and ceremony set for Nov. 5

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published October 23, 2017

 The Shelby Township Police Department’s Honor Guard lays a wreath during the 2016 Shelby Township Veterans Day ceremony. The event will take place Nov. 5 this year.

The Shelby Township Police Department’s Honor Guard lays a wreath during the 2016 Shelby Township Veterans Day ceremony. The event will take place Nov. 5 this year.

File photo by Erin Sanchez

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The township’s fifth annual celebratory day to say “thank you” to local veterans falls on Nov. 5.

The Sunday will kick off with a Veterans Memorial 5K walk/run along a handicapped-accessible path at 10 a.m. and finish with a Veterans Day ceremony at the township’s Veterans Memorial at 1:30 p.m.

“For me, the neatest thing is the veterans get a boost in morale seeing the community come out for the veterans,” said Deputy Supervisor Brad Bates, who helps coordinate the event. “When they see civilians in the community come out and support them, the smiles are priceless.”

The 5K features a scenic loop around the township grounds and Mae Stecker Park.

The cost for entry to the 5K is $20 before Nov. 5 for civilians, and entry is free for veterans; day-of registration will begin at 8 a.m. Nov. 5.

“I haven’t seen many veterans that take us up on (the free entry). They always laugh and give the money anyways,” Bates said. “It’s a great event, and for $20 you get a nice T-shirt, a goodie bag, and you’re also supporting the memorial and supporting the veterans.”

He added that a new highlight of the event this year is a raffle for gifts donated by sponsors. He said participants who enter the run automatically will be entered into the raffle.

“(Veterans have) done a lot for us,” Bates said. “Just personally, what you get out of coming out to an event and shaking a vet’s hand, there’s nothing like it to feel good.”

All of the proceeds raised from the 5K will benefit the upkeep and improvements to the site of the Veterans Memorial.

The township unveiled its latest improvements — the Defense of the Homeland Memorial to remember 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, and a new base for the township’s Global War on Terror Memorial — during its Sept. 11 ceremony.

Phil Randazzo, the township’s veterans event coordinator, said Veterans Day is the appropriate time to express gratitude for those who have served in the U.S. armed forces.

“There’s many, many different jobs, just like there is civilian jobs,” Randazzo said. “These are the ones who don’t have their names engraved in stone anyplace, so that’s why they have Veterans Day to honor the military people that served this nation.”

He said he plans to have all the veterans in attendance at the ceremony come forward and be honored. The ceremony will also include the national anthem performed by Tracy Murray; the Pledge of Allegiance led by Supervisor Rick Stathakis; guest speaker Larry Rocca, a Vietnam veteran and the Macomb County treasurer; and a local Scout troop, Randazzo said.

Rocca did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

To register for the 5K, visit www.eastsideracingcompany.com.

For more information, call the Supervisor’s Office at (586) 731-5154. The Shelby Township municipal grounds are located at 52700 Van Dyke Ave., south of 24 Mile Road.