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Annual 5K to benefit veterans; Police Association and Project New Hope join forces.

Byline: Ellie Oleson

AUBURN -- The Auburn Police Association has teamed up with Project New Hope Inc. of Worcester for the first time, so that this year's 4th Annual APA 5K run on April 26 will benefit area veterans and their families as well as the association's scholarship fund.

Auburn Police Officer Stephanie Segur, one of the organizers of the 5K, said the founder and president of Project New Hope is a friend of Detective Eric Dyson and other department members.

"They do a lot for veterans. We want to help,'' she said.

All proceeds from the run will benefit local scholarships, given annually in memory of Officers Stephen A. Lukas and Eric T. Snay, and local veterans.

"We did well last year, and hope to do better this year,'' Officer Segur said.

Project New Hope was founded by William H. Moore of Leicester, a disabled veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He served as a crash rescue firefighter until he was injured during a successful rescue of two pilots from a burning F-111, according to the charity's website.

The charity's focus is on veterans suffering traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress and military sexual trauma.

Mr. Moore, who serves as volunteer chairman, president and CEO of the charity, holds a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling from Assumption College and worked many years with the state, including time as a disabled veteran employment counselor, before retiring in 2007.

Four years later, he founded Project New Hope, which has the motto "Where Veterans Rebuild with Honor.''

Through the agency, veterans and their families are invited to a variety of three-day retreats in Groton, where they can enjoy a holistic healing weekend on 250 acres of wooded waterfront property at no cost.

"A pill is not the answer to everything. Years ago, our armed forces could expect a single, one-year deployment to Vietnam or wherever. Now, they face three, four, five or six deployments in Iraq or Afghanistan, with constant threat of IED's. It's unheard of. We are trying to help keep military families together despite the hardships they are facing,'' Mr. Moore said.

"We are thankful that the Auburn Police Association has partnered with us for the 5K.''

He said Gold Star families, who have lost loved ones, will join veterans and members of the military for the run.

A contingent of active duty and retired military plan to "ruck,'' that is, march with full backpacks, in memory of fallen soldiers.

"I'm going with them,'' Mr. Moore said.

Anyone interested in supporting local police or area veterans is invited to join the 5K by registering at www.apa5k.racewire.com. The cost is $25 for adults or $15 for those younger than 18, active military or veterans. Children younger than age 10 who want to be timed are $10.

Nonrunners are invited to come out to support the run, which will be held at 10 a.m. April 26 starting at the Auburn-Webster Lodge of Elks, 754 Southbridge St. Donations in any amount will be welcome there or can be sent to the Auburn Police Association 5K, P.O. Box 126, Auburn, MA 01501.

There will also be a raffle, with prizes including gift cards to Wegman's and Chuck's Steak House, movie passes and Red Sox tickets. Health Source of Auburn will offer free pre-race kinesiology taping, warm-up massage and post-race massage, stretching, muscle work and injury/pain consultation and prevention.

The main sponsor of the event is Fallon Community Health Plan.

Project New Hope is also preparing for its second annual Salute Our Veterans motorcycle ride on June 27 and other fundraisers. Visit www.projectnewhopema.org for information.

This year's retreats include a recent Substance Abuse Family Retreat, a Gold Star and Survivor Retreat on April 10, a Military Families with Special Needs Retreat on April 17, a Women Veterans and Daughters Retreat on May 22, the second annual LGBT Family Weekend Retreat on June 12, and a Blind and Visually Impaired Veterans Family Retreat on Sept. 17.
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Title Annotation:Weeklies
Author:Oleson, Ellie
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 27, 2015
Words:667
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