On Saturday, September 21, as the morning sun illuminated Pacific Northwest University’s campus, the work of a dedicated group of volunteers — who had toiled tirelessly into the darkness of the previous night — literally came to light.
Carefully-positioned water hazards, gravel piles, makeshift-tunnels and mud-filled trenches lined the back lawn of PNWU’s Butler-Haney Hall. Nearby, a volcanic-orange inflatable slide slumped lifelessly on the grass, awaiting the flick of an air switch. Much like the sunrise, PNWU second-year medical student Kat Lundeberg’s smile shone bright as she looked over the obstacle course. A year prior, Lundeberg — a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force Reserves — had participated in the race, and witnessed the monumental impact of her race-organizing predecessors. After months of diligence, collaboration, and trial-and-error to organize the second-annual Warrior Run 5K, she watched proudly as her dream of helping veterans came to light.
Soon, 108 registrants would arrive on the PNWU campus, prepared to take on the grueling course and push their limits in support of the veterans who had sacrificed so much for them. By the end of the day, as the sun set and the final splatters of mud were washed away from the faces of race participants, $2,525 was raised for Team RWB, an organization which strives to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.
“I am constantly impressed and inspired by the dedication, creativity, and drive of my peers and military colleagues, Laura Castro, Katie Heiss, and Mauna Edrozo, who all joined together and stepped up to the challenge to make this race happen,” said Lundeberg. "We are also incredibly grateful for all the volunteers who donated their time, the Yakima community members who contributed their resources, and especially the PNWU Facilities team that ensured the success and the safety of this event.”
“It takes a village to build a community,” she added, reflecting on the events success. “We hope that Team RWB will use the donations to continue their mission, integrating the health and wellness of our veterans, young and old, never to be forgotten.”