Signups begin for Patriot Run/Walk

Published Apr 18, 2017 at 4:00pm

Sign-ups and sponsorship options are available for the sixth annual Patriot Run/Walk, which is set for June 10 at the Griffiss Business Park.

Race details and a waiver are available at The event is organized by Vietnam Veterans of America Utica Chapter.

The event celebrates Flag Day, which is June 14 each year. It will be in memory of Army National Guard Sgt. Michael A. Uvanni of Rome, who was killed in action in Iraq on Oct. 1, 2004.

There’s a five-kilometer run/walk, a 10-kilometer run and a wheelchair race. In commemoration of Pledge of Allegiance author Francis Bellamy of Rome, there will be an ancillary 10-kilometer run from Bellamy’s gravesite in Rome Cemetery on Jervis Avenue. A bus will provide transportation for the runners from the Wingate Inn to the gravesite to ensure a 9 a.m. start. The bus will depart the hotel at 8:30.

The three primary events will begin at 9 a.m. at the Wingate. All registered race participants should assemble on the front lawn of the hotel.

The purpose of the event is to raise awareness and funds so that the Utica chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America can continue to uphold the founding principle of the organization: “Never Again Will One Generation of Veterans Abandon Another.”

The chapter participates in visits and gives gifts to veterans of all eras who are in hospitals and nursing homes. The chapter supports all military organizations and participates in flag folding, color guard and wreath laying ceremonies. The chapter is also involved with civic events and public service projects for organizations such as Boy Scouts and ROTC programs and scholarships. The group also supports Gold Star Mothers and their families.

To participate, register for $20 through June 4. Sign up online at After that, the cost is $25, including race day registration 7-9 a.m. Register by mail (by sending payment and the signed race waiver) to VVA Chapter 944, P.O. Box 4444, Utica, NY 13504.

The first 200 registrants will receive a Vietnam Veterans of America shirt to commemorate the event. There will be an award ceremony after the race, with awards for the top three in the male and female categories for eight age groups (14 and under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70 and over). There will also be a complimentary lunch after the awards.

There are four levels of sponsorship: Gold for $500, Silver for $300, Bronze for $100 and Booster for $50.

Checks for sponsors or participants can be made payable to VVA Chapter 944.