At The 4-H Center
BY O.J. EARLY
Nearly 200 runners and walkers came out for Saturday's Cross-Country Challenge 5K Walk/Run, sponsored by Laughlin Memorial Hospital.
Almost $10,000 was raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization with a mission to "honor and empower wounded warriors."
"We were just amazed by the support from the community," said Tracy Green, Laughlin Hospital's wellness director and the event's primary organizer.
"We had a lot of phone calls from people that just wanted to be there and offer their support."
As a result of Laughlin's paying for Saturday's event, all of the $8,874 raised will go directly to the Wounded Warrior Project, Green said.
Money given this year was up from the $5,000 at last year's race, Green noted.
U.S. Army Capt. Jordan Yokley, M.D., who served as battalion flight surgeon with the 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan in 2010-2011, spoke briefly before the start of the race.
"I've had quite the opportunity to meet a lot of these wounded soldiers," said Yokley, telling the crowd about some of his experiences with injured soldiers. "This money really goes a long way."
Yokley, a Greeneville native and graduate of Greeneville High School, is the son of former state Rep. Eddie Yokley and his wife, Carolyn.
Ray Jones won the race with a time of 19:50.
Jones was also the overall male winner, and Maddison Melchionna was the overall female winner.
There were 174 entrants in the event Saturday morning at the Clyde Austin 4-H Center.
The race stretched through sections of southern Greene County farmland, all around the 4-H campus.
The 5K is also a part of the Frontier Racing Series.
Brian Cook, Nic Crawford and Leanne Harkness were co-organizers of the weekend race, Green said.
For more information about the Wounded Warrior Project, go online at http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org