BIWABIK – Robert Green Ingersoll said, “When the will defies fear, when duty throws the gauntlet down to fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death—that is heroism.”
Veterans exemplify this quote and are truly heroes. These brave men and women stepped forward, stood up to fear, fought for our country, and fought for us. To honor, support and help our local veterans, United Way of Northeastern Minnesota (UWNEMN) created the program, United for Veterans.
To raise money for United for Veterans, UWNEMN throws down a gauntlet of our own and presents Rampage at the Ridge, an extreme 5K obstacle course at Giants Ridge. Runners face their fears by tackling tough challenges. This is not like any other race of its kind. We do not bring in obstacles from a big race company; all of the obstacles are constructed by us—the UWNEMN staff and volunteers! The race, terrain, and obstacles are all unique to Rampage, making this event fun, challenging and totally rad.
Speaking of things that are totally rad, the Rock the Ridge Rampage pre-party will feature the sweet sounds of the ‘90s with outdoor music at Giants Ridge provided by Hangfire and Mallrats. There will be a spaghetti feed, BBQ, music, beer-tasting and fun! The public is invited; a $5 donation is requested. This year’s pre-party will on Friday, Aug. 17, and Rampage at the Ridge will be on Saturday, Aug. 18. More information can be found at rampagerun. org.
Rampage at the Ridge benefits the local work of United for Veterans and helps UWNEMN honor our local heroes. This program has done some amazing things in our communities. The most recent was partnering with MACV to open a transitional housing unit for local veterans who are facing homelessness. Not only will the veterans live in the house as they get back on their feet, they will be provided with case management to assist with finding employment, permanent housing and stability. The program also has provided support through a Veterans Crisis Fund, held local veteran retreats, created a local Military Connections Guide, and contributed to our veterans in many other ways.
United States, United Way, United for Veterans—the key word is “United.” United we are stronger. United we can face challenges. United we improve lives. Your support and participation is appreciated and is united with others across our service territory to make a true difference.
Julie Lucas is the 2018 United Way of Northeastern Minnesota board president.