Bainbridge State College to host third annual Purple Heart run event

Published 8:20 pm Tuesday, January 27, 2015

By Susanne Reynolds

Special to The Post-Searchlight

It’s time to lace up your shoes and begin pounding the pavement to support our nation’s heroes.

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Bainbridge State College’s Student Veterans of America organization will host the third annual Purple Heart 5K, 10K and one-mile walk, on Saturday, Feb. 28, beginning at 9 a.m.

The races will begin and take place on the BSC main campus. Its course will consist of asphalt roads and cross-country terrain comprised of rolling hills on packed dirt roads.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Red Hills Wounded Warrior Group, Inc., a non-profit organization benefiting wounded soldiers from Georgia, Florida and Alabama. The group organizes outdoor hunting events with their fellow wounded soldiers who would otherwise not have these opportunities afforded to them.

Three years ago, Dr. Eric Dueno, BSC associate professor of Chemistry and co-organizer of the races, established the Purple Heart Run at BSC. In each step of the Purple Heart Run, he finds special meaning and a responsibility to America’s veterans.

“For 27 years, my father was a colonel in the U.S. Army and during that time he served in Vietnam,” said Dueno. “As a small child I lived at Fort Benning and Fort Stewart and even in Germany and Italy on military bases. Growing up with a parent in the military, and around other soldiers and veterans, taught me how important it is to respect and serve those who fought for our country. These soldiers have sacrificed so much and it’s now up to us to support them.”

Since the Purple Heart Run’s inception, it has raised $3,000 for the Red Hills Warrior Group, Inc. According to Dueno, he and the other organizers of the run have a goal to surpass last year’s contribution of $1,700.

Race participants will receive a shirt and goody bag, while supplies last. First, second and third prizes will be rewarded in all categories.

The early registration fee is $15, and to register on the day of the race is $20.

To register, visit, click races on the menu bar and under calendar current, scroll to the February 28th Purple Heart link. Entry forms can be found there to be printed, filled out with entry fee and returned to: Dr. Juan Gomez, Cypress Hall, Bainbridge State College, 2500 E. Shotwell St., Bainbridge, Ga., 39818.

For additional information on running, volunteering or donating, please contact Dr. Eric Dueno at 229-248-2577 or Dr. Juan Gomez at 229-248-2634.