SHELBYVILLE, IN — Approximately 80 walkers braved cool temperatures to take part in the first ever Route For The Brave Shelbyville walk.
The 5-mile walk not only raised funds for Helping Hands For Freedom, it served as a catalyst for next year’s Route For The Brave walk across America, which will begin in April in Atlantic City and end in San Francisco in August. The purpose of the walk is to raise funds to build a retreat house for military families.
In addition to the Route For The Brave Shelbyville event, Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun declared Oct. 19 “Route For The Brave Day in Shelbyville.”
“It’s always easy to support a great cause like this,” DeBaun said. Helping Hands For Freedom CEO Darin Fishburn said the event was a “success.”
“We would like to thank the city of Shelbyville, the Mayor and the Chief of Police for allowing the walk across Shelbyville to honor our local heroes and survivors to take place. It was a successful day of spreading our message and making people more aware of our desire to build a retreat house to help those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for us,” Fishburn said.
Route For The Brave Shelbyville came on the heels of a 144-mile test walk earlier this year by David Roth, a 20-plus year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Chairman of the Board for Helping Hands For Freedom. Roth walked U.S. 40 from Richmond, IN to Terre Haute, IN.
Roth said the idea of doing the national walk came after seeing his stepson be deployed for the fifth time.
“Nothing breaks your heart more than trying to reintroduce children to their parent when they come back from being deployed,” he said.
Roth added that momentum is building for next year’s event.
“Each day, we get a phone call from a person wanting to donate or do an event for us. Obviously for me, success will be completing the trip, but it won’t stop there. I want to build the house that gives military families an opportunity to connect. When we get that first family and give them a place of retreat, that will be amazing. That’s everything right there,” Roth said.
Helping Hands for Freedom is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports military children & families facing injury, loss, and multiple deployments. You can learn more about us at www.helpinghandsforfreedom.org