Run For the Fallen / Tampa Bay
Inspired by the national Run For the Fallen event, our innagural walk/run began in 2008 with approximately 250 volunteers & participants.
Kym Smith, event coordinator, was inspired to hold a local event due to the close loss she had experienced through the war in Iraq. Her vision was to have a designated walker/runner to represent each Fallen Hero from the state of Florida who had made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq & Afghanistan during OIF/OEF conflicts.
The FREE event has been embraced by the local Tampa Bay community with thousands pouring out each year, from all over the US and beyond, to honor the Fallen and their families.
In 2010 we were blessed with the addition of our Florida Fallen Memorial which displays a cross for each of our Heroes, along with a picture and branch designation.
In 2013 we introduced our Candlelight Vigil, held the night before each run. It is a favorite of our Gold Star Families and offers an emotionally moving reminder of the true meaning of our event.
2014 proved more growth of the event as our "tent city" was born; a place to enjoy after the run for food, music and a variety of vendors who are dedicated to serving military & veteran families.
This memorial event is for everyone! Men, women and children of all ages come out to volunteer & participate. It is never unusual to see babies in strollers, service dogs by their warriors side, wheelchairs, athletes with prosthetics and people from all walks of life joined together for one cause - to honor our Fallen, their families, and continue to keep our promise to NEVER let them be forgotten!
In 2017 we moved the event to the Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City, FL.
We enjoyed a gorgeous sprawling venue and added the United States Marine Corps EMV unit to our tent city along with many other military/veteran non profit organizations, vendors and sponsors.