"Joey Graves was a much admired and loved young man from our area who joined the U.S. Army after graduating from Liberty High School," said Brentwood's Mike Ketchel, Founder and Chairman of the America First Foundation, whose activities support the Freedom Alliance. "That our event will help the children left behind by his fallen comrades in arms is a fitting tribute, and a lasting legacy for a young man who meant so much to our community, and nation."
The Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund has raised nearly $8 million nationwide to provide college or vocational scholarships to the children of American military members killed in action. The fund is managed through the Freedom Alliance, which was established 17 years ago by retired USMC Lt. Col. Oliver North.
In addition to the memorial 10K, events this year will include the fourth annual 5K Freedom Run, the third Freedom Car and Motorcycle Show, and the first Liberty Kids Dash, a 60-yard race that will crown the fastest kid in town.
Up to 300 runners are expected for the 5K event, and a similar number of entries are expected for the car and bike show. The events will be held Aug. 25 in Discovery Bay.
Earlier in the week, Kevin Graves, Joey's father, will stage the first Joey Graves Memorial Golf Tournament. Set for Aug. 20, the tournament will establish the Joey Graves Leadership Fund, which America First will use to help send local high school students to the Freedom Alliance Leadership Academy.
Events on Aug. 25 will also include a military veteran honor guard, a rifle squad salute to the fallen, remarks from civic leaders, a precision sky diving team, prize drawings and live music.
"Expect the biggest Support the Troops event ever staged in this area," said Ketchel. "It'll be fun for the entire family."
Runners and car or motorcycle show participants may register online at www.active.com or see the direct links at www.theamericafirstfoundation.org. To help sponsor the event, contact Ketchel at 392-3835.