GUNNISON— United We March approaches their Fifth Annual Gunnison Gut Check with a slate of activities planned for Sept. 9 and 10.
The Gunnison ruck race, dinner, auction and fundraiser will run under the theme, “United in Service” this year.
“Remember the unity of Americans after 9-11-2001?” event coordinator Justin Mellor said. “We are striving to regain and strengthen that.”
Mellor said division is negatively affecting us all, and that we can be the greatest generation of our time by serving together in all aspects of culture, beliefs and diversities as Americans. “We cannot be our own worst enemy,” he said.
The Gunnison Gut Check is growing in participation and relevance every year.
To the runners who cross the finish line, the race is a personal thing. To all the people who donate their time, money, and labor to put together the patriotic event, it’s a teamwork thing, Mellor said. The event is something the community and everyone needs.
Last year, the fundraiser raised over $100,000 to go to charities and service projects for veterans, law enforcement and organizations that fight veteran suicide. There were 230 participants that took part in United We March.
Each year, Mellor said the committee in charge of selecting the core purpose of the event voted in favor of honoring Vietnam veterans for 2022.
“We want to give them the welcome home they never received by showing our honor, respect and gratitude for them,” Mellor said. “There is a brotherhood we as civilians can never understand. They are an integral and strong part of our lives and liberties in United States of America. They answered the call to fight evil and oppression and witnessed a part of inhumanity they can never forget.”
The Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall, new this year, will be in the Gunnison Park from Sept. 8-11 for everyone to go and see.
On the wall are 58,318 men and eight women’s names, all who answered the call to fight against communist oppression in Southeast Asia to preserve the lives of the South Vietnamese and who fully paid the price working to accomplish this task.
Once again, Big Betsy, the country’s largest American flag, will be the anchor of the patriotic procession down Main Street, which starts at 5 p.m. on Friday at 300 South Main.
Personnel from fire departments, law enforcement, emergency medical technicians, Sanpete County dispatch and veterans will march to show gratitude to all our local and state first responders and veterans, Mellor said.
Following the procession, dinner will be served at the Gunnison City Park. Follow- ing dinner, there will be a motivational speech by Dennis Carroll, a Vietnam Veteran A4-F Skyhawk pilot.
The auction will begin at 7 p.m. with several donated items to bid on, including a tiny home. You can view the home at 250 North on the east side of Main Street across from the Veterans Memorial Park. The house was built by the inmates at Central Utah Correctional Facility and Snow College Building Trades.
Saturday morning will be kicked off with a flag ceremony at 6:20 a.m. with Miss Gunnison, Noelle Condie, singing the National Anthem prior to sending the Gut Checkers off on their journey.
The Gut Check racers will begin with the Full and Half Gut Checks beginning at 6:45 a.m. and the Mini Gut Check at 8 a.m.
Another feature is the Patriotic Car Show, which runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Registration is $20 and additional cars are $10 each. Awards will be given to the top cars and a Rossi Rio Bravo 22 LR 18” 15-RD Lever Action Rifle will be awarded to the Best of Show, which was donated by Mike Wanner Construction.
On Saturday, there will be vendors all day, food trucks and Funtime Inflatables with bounce houses, laser tag, rock wall, mechanical bull and boxing ring. All day wrist bands will be available for $25 on site.
Mellor said the involvement of citizens, children, families and all those who show up and show their love for veterans, law enforcement and first responders is what he loves the most about this event.
“We raise money and pass it along to charities we believe in and have seen their efforts help these people that fall un- der each service,” Mellor said.
For more information and to register for the race, visit http://www.gutcheck.itsyourrace.com.