By Dustin Luca
---- — Around 2,000 runners are expected to turn out for Sunday’s Run for the Troops five-kilometer road race — but the veterans will be the ones getting the most attention at the event.
The race is paired with a dinner and auction being held tomorrow, Friday, at the Wyndham Hotel on Old River Road. Both events benefit Homes for Our Troops, a national non-profit organization that builds homes for disabled veterans in significant need of support.
The money raised by the Andover events is being raised with an eye toward a home being built f home of Marine Cpl. Kevin Dubois from Rhode Island in mind. Dubois was injured while clearing out a landing area for a medical helicopter in Afghanistan’s Helmand province on July of 2011. While going prone, he stepped on an improvised explosive device. He lost both of his legs as a result of the incident.
With his new home designed to accommodate his disability, Dubois has said he looks forward to starting a family with his wife Kayla.
Around 1,500 runners are already registered for the event, and the dinner has over 400 signed up with the event capped at 500 seats, according to event co-organizer Bill Pennington.
Those who either hope to register for the race early or have already registered and want to pick up their race-day attire can do so at Century Bank at 15 Elm St. Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Pennington said.
“They can get their shirts, they can get their proper size. It makes it a lot easier than on Sunday morning,” he said.
Those registering for the race the day of the run will be able to do so at the cafeteria for Doherty Middle School, 50 Bartlet St.
Before the race begins Sunday morning at 9 a.m., a ceremony will honor all present veterans “who have served, are serving or will serve,” Pennington said.
Registration for the race costs $25, and the dinner is $25 as well.
For more information, visit RunForTheTroops5K.com.
RUN FOR THE TROOPS 5K :Why: Benefits Homes for Our Troops Dinner: April 5, reception at 6 p.m., dinner 7, Wyndham Hotel, 123 Old River Road, $25 Race: April 7, 9 a.m., starts on Chestnut Street at the Park, $25 Register online: Visit RunForTheTroops5K.com Registration/number pick up: Visit Century Bank, 15 Elm St., on Friday or Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day Race day pick-up, registration: Visit the Doherty Middle School cafeteria, 50 Bartlet St.