LAUREL – About 200 people showed up to run and help raise money for the Montana Firefighters Memorial in Laurel Friday.
“We’re just working for the firefighters that have been giving so much to our communities but also to those that gave the ultimate sacrifice,” said Amber Parish, Montana Firefighters Memorial Run Race Organizer.
The inaugural Montana Firefighters Memorial Run featured a 5K and one mile race.
The money raised from entry fees goes toward the ongoing completion of the Montana Firefighters Memorial in Laurel.
The memorial site opened and was dedicated back in 2018, but the volunteer-led, fund-raising effort stalled, Parish said. And the group was short about $300,000.
With the help of some sponsors, a new group got together to put on Friday night’s run.
“They were kind of losing steam,” Parish said. “So we decided we could jump in and maybe breathe some life back into their fundraising efforts. And do something the community could get involved with and bring some support to the memorial.”
Organizers hope the first ever Montana Firefighters Memorial Run raises about $10,000 to go toward landscaping and a fence.
“They are really looking to develop the park so that people can come and enjoy the memorial,” Parish said. “Also to make it a destination as people are traveling through this part of the state.”
More names will also be added to the wall to reflect firefighters who gave the “ultimate commitment” of serving at least 20 years.
“We’re happy with the turnout, our fundraising efforts,” Parish said. “And we’re just glad to see members of the community getting out here to enjoy the memorial, checking it out, seeing what it’s about but also raising more money to complete the memorial.”
For more information on how to donate, click on the Montana Firefighters Memorial Facebook page.
Story by Mitch Lagge, MTN News