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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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RUN4TROOPS

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RUN4TROOPS. With the goal of raising money for tri-state military families, Mike Hodge of the Dubuque-based Hodge Companies, organized Run4Troops in 2009. The idea came after his visit to his brother's station in Fort Hood, Texas and seeing first hand how families were separated by war. He was supported in his efforts by his then fiancee, Annette, who served in the U. S. Air Force for four years and the Army Reserve for six years. (1)

The event began at the Heritage Trailhead in Dyersville and ended at Heritage Pond in Dubuque. In 2009 the event concluded with a relay team event with local groups running or walking the 26-ile route with an American flag. Relay teams chose how to relay the flag, either with one person or in collaboration. Teams were required to organize them own logistics and supplies. The entry fee was $10 per individual and $200 for team sponsorship. (2)

Additional funds for Run4Troops were earned in 2010 when Connie Hodge and her dance instructor, Bob Ripley, earned the title of champion with a score of 96.67 in the first DANCING WITH THE STARS-DUBUQUE STYLE, at the Grand River Center in May representing the charity. Dancers raised $16,002 for charity. (3)

In the first five years of the event, Run4Troops raised $46,000 and supported "Red to Me" Foundation, Operation Got You Back, The Honor Flight, The Veterans Freedom Center and the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE ROTC. It also began an endowment for high school students pursuing a military career and helped foundations for tri-state soldiers injured during their time of duty. (4)

In 2014 there were nearly 700 individuals registered for the sixth event. There were 100 relay teams of two to twelve members and 130 to 150 individual marathoners. In 2013 there were an estimated 640 registered with 450 in 2012. One of the runners in 2014 was Nishi Hajime of Inzai, Japan. Involved in running marathons since 1990, the Run4Troops event would be be his 657th with a goal of reaching 1000. (5)

In 2017 Run4Troops was chosen as one of five nonprofits eligible for receive donations from TCC, the largest authorized Verizon Wireless Retailer, as determined by a community vote. (6)

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Source:

1. Schmidt, Michael, "Dubuque Man Takes Steps For Tri-State Soldiers," Telegraph Herald, July 1, 2009, p. 5

2. Ibid.

3. "Dancers Raise $16,002 for Charity," Telegraph Herald, May 23, 2010, p. 11

4. Reber, Craig D., "Marathoner Logs More than 26.2 Miles," Telegraph Herald, June 28, 2014, p. 3

5. Ibid.

6. "New Verizon Store Gives Back," Telegraph Herald, October 5, 2017, p. 5