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Veterans' advocate thanks supporters

On April 22 I hosted a fundraiser to raise money for the first annual Run to Home Base 9K, which is a charity run for the Home Base Program. The program was started by Massachusetts General Hospital and the Red Sox Foundation to provide assistance to servicemen and women and their families who return from Afghanistan and Iraq with traumatic brain injuries and combat stress disorder. I am honored to say that I am running on May 23 in memory of our local hero, Sgt. Mark Ecker II.
Each runner is committed to raising $1,000 and with the help and support from this great community, I was able to raise over $2,000 for such a needed cause. I would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for their donations to the raffle which was a huge success: Lenox, Shaker Bowl, JB's Ice Cream Factory, William's Distributing, Ciao Bella Salon, Commercial Distributors, A.W. Brown's, WMAS and Cal's Woodfired Grill, Frigo's and for donating gift baskets, I would like to thank Carole Donoghue, Cheryl Dowd and Joseph and Josephine Dowd. I would like to thank Go Graphix for donating the perfect banner for the fundraiser, the Whip City Ramblers for donating their incredible musical talent, Courtney Llewellyn for the wonderful article in the Reminder that made many people aware of the fundraiser and the Pizza Shoppe for providing a location to host the event.
I would also like to thank all who came out to support this great cause and I would also like to thank all who have kindly made a donation. Most of all, I would like to thank the Ecker family for giving me their blessing to run for their son, Mark. I feel that it is so important for our soldiers that are fighting for our country to know that they are never forgotten and there is someone here to help them when they come home from the battlefield. For more information about the Home Base Program, please visit www.HomeBaseProgram.org.
Julianne Donahue
East Longmeadow