Student Veterans Organization will donate proceeds to benefit homeless veterans
By: IZZA JATALA
IU South Bend’s Student Veterans Organization (SVO) President Kyle Kreczmer and SVO volunteer and resident of Miller’s Vets Tom Spoor spent part of Friday evening, Oct. 18, working on preparations for the SVO’s upcoming charity event.
The SVO will host their first annual 5k Sweat for Vets charity run/walk at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, outside the Student Activities Center on campus.
Kreczmer said the all proceeds raised from the event will be donated to Robert Miller’s Veterans Center for the Homeless, a local non-profit organization that helps local homeless veterans in St. Joseph County.
“Our goal is to raise $5000 dollars to donate there. We’d like to see more people register for the 5k run and help us reach that goal,” Kreczmer said.
To help achieve this goal, SVO held a port-a-pit chicken fundraiser this past Saturday to promote their charity run and to earn proceeds to donate to Miller’s Vets.
Kreczmer and Spoor had poster boards, markers and letter stencils arranged on one of the tables at the Grille on campus. They were making signs for the port-a-pit event and talking about the 5k run.
“We agreed that student veterans needed some type of outreach program so we came up with this race and thought ‘Who would be better to benefit from it then a local charity organization that helps take care of veterans?’ So then it kind of blossomed from there,” Kreczmer said.
Spoor, a 62-year-old army veteran from Detroit, has been a resident of Miller’s Vets for a few years and volunteered to help with the event.
He said he just happened to find Miller’s Vets after a tough period in his life sometime after he lost his home in Dowagiac.
“We really appreciate events like these. I’ve seen guys that have come to Miller’s and literally got their lives saved by that place.”
At full capacity with 24 residents, Spoor said Miller’s Vets gives them a chance to not only get back on their feet but get involved in the community.
“We do color guard and honor guard at different events, attend different VFW events, and we were road guards at the 3-for-3 triathlon event in South Bend,” Spoor said.
Kreczmer said the charity run offers a chance to get together with family, friends and other vets in celebration of Veteran’s Day, which is the following Monday.
Registered participants will get a t-shirt and dog tags that have the 5k Sweat for Vets logo on it. There will be a first, second and third place trophy for those with the best race times.
Kreczmer said it’s a one lap race that wraps around parts of campus near Northside Boulevard., 20th Street, Mishawaka Avenue, and Esther Street, eventually returning back to the SAC.
“I think it will be a fun event and a great way to give back to a good cause while getting some exercise in.”
To register for the 5k run or to become a volunteer visit www.5ksweatforvets.org. The event can be found on Facebook by searching for “5k Sweat for Vets.”
Anyone interested in learning more about SVO can email Kreczmer at firstname.lastname@example.org or search “SVO IUSB” on Facebook.