PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- A former Marine's 5K Run/Walk For Heroes has become a popular tradition in the City of Peekskill.
The 5K Run/Walk For Heroes takes place this Saturday at 9 a.m. at the American Legion building in Peekskill at 936 McKinley St. The race is organized by Brendon Fitzgerald, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. Fitzgerald, a Peekskill resident, grew up in Cortlandt.
Mayor Frank Catalina and Police Chief Eric Johansen are among the participants in the event, which will kick off with a performance by the Westchester Firefighters Emerald Society bagpipers.
All proceeds from the walk support Operation Comfort Warriors, a program dedicated to meeting the needs of wounded, injured or ill military personnel by providing them with comfort items not usually supplied by the government like video games and iPods.
"This is a great charity," Fitzgerald said. "One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to veterans."
Last year, Fitzgerald said they raised $4,600, and were one of the top donors to the charity from New York state.
"I want to give back to my fellow veterans," Fitzgerald said. "That's why I get involved. They help make an injured soldier's experience more enjoyable and help them deal with hard times."
Fitzgerald, who currently serves in the Air National Guard said it unbelievable how the event has turned out the whole community. He said people from Brooklyn are even participating.
"I love giving back to people that mean so much to me," Fitzgerald said. "The Marine Corps changed my life for the better."
Fitzgerald said growing up 40 miles from Ground Zero inspired him to join the Marines and fight in the War on Terror.
Organizers expect 300 people to participate in this years event.
Register online to participate in the race at https://runsignup.com/race/ny/peekskill/the5krunforheroes it costs $25 to register in advance online and $35 onsite at the event.