Park workout-fundraiser to honor fallen soldiers
Harrybrooke Park in New Milford will play host May 28 to a new event to the park and town, “Who Are You Carrying?”
The event will honor lost heroes who have served our country, with one specific military hero as the first honoree, Petty Officer First Class Jason D. Lewis of Brookfield.
Lewis, 30, a Navy SEAL, was killed in action 10 years ago by an improvised explosive device during a combat mission in Baghdad.
His mother, Jean Mariano, a gold star mother and New Milford resident, will attend the event.
The day will commence with a ceremonial flag brought to the park from Lewis’ grave at Center Cemetery.
The flag will be hung at the park to open the season with a Workout of the Day, or WOD, that will benefit the park and local non-profit, Help Our Military Heroes.
Each participant or team, will wear a T-shirt with the name of a fallen hero that they carry with them every day and will do their WOD in that person’s honor for the day.
An event planning team was built including park staff and U.S. veterans.
“We wanted to kick off Memorial Day with something other than a BBQ,” said Valerie Walsh, Harrybrooke Park’s assistant director. “And this WOD will honor someone special for each of us.
“It’s a great chance to come as an individual or as a team to connect with family and friends we have all lost,” Walsh said. “I especially love putting together events like this where we can take our passion for fitness and pay special tribute.”
Help Our Military Heroes is dedicated to delivering adaptive minivans to wounded warriors.
“This local nonprofit was actually started by a dear friend of mine who gave me my first job in the Fitness Industry, Laurie Hollander,” Walsh explained.
For more information, call Walsh at the park at 860-799-6520.