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Back the Blue 5K held Saturday

South Boston News
Back the Blue 5K winners are, from left, Grant Nichols third, Drew Salley, second, Jacob Barker, first, Lauren Bryan, first, Kora Bryan, second and Joni Card third. / September 14, 2020

The Back the Blue 5K, postponed from May due to Covid-19, was held Saturday at HCHS.

“We had a great turnout, I would say roughly between 60-80 people including volunteers,” said event coordinator Chelsea Wooding.

This is the third year she has hosted the Back the Blue 5K. The 5K fundraiser started in remembrance of Trooper Chad Dermyer who was killed in the line of duty on March 31, 2016 and the proceeds went to the Dermyer family. They did not have the 5K in 2017 or 2018, but then Trooper Lucas Dowell was killed in the line of duty on Feb. 4, 2019.

Both Chad Dermyer and Lucas Dowell “were both academy classmates of my husband Bill Wooding, who is also a Virginia State Trooper, so it really hit home,” Wooding said. “That’s when I decided to continue the Back The Blue 5K not only to remember Chad and Lucas but all fallen officers as well as show appreciation to all of our active Law Enforcement Officers.”

After the 5K last year, “Trooper Dowell’s family donated all the money raised back to me after they heard of my goal to open a scholarship in their names,” she said.

That’s when the Dermyer Dowell Scholarship Fund was created. The scholarship is open to any high school senior located in Virginia that is the child of a law enforcement officer. Participants fill out an application, submit an essay, and have an interview to complete as part of the application process.

This June, Reagan Ridgeway was presented a $500 scholarship. The Dermyer Dowell Scholarship application process for 2021 will start Dec. 1.

“She had an amazing application and essay that was truly a joy to read. Reagan will be attending Averett University in the fall,” said Wooding.

The 5K fundraisers are held at the Halifax County High School. This past Saturday marked the third event and trophies were awarded to the first three men and women who completed the race.

Volunteers were on hand from We’ve Got Rhythm Dance and the youth of Grace Baptist Church to help with registration and route directions. Registration began at 8 a.m. and the race started at 9 a.m.

“All of these young people were up and ready to go at 7:30am to support those who protect us daily. Our very own Kora Bryan ran and came in second fastest female. We also had several parents/families participate. We are so proud of everyone and thankful for being included in this event,” said Lori Reaves Vogt, owner and instructor at We’ve Got Rhythm Dance Studio.

Del. James Edmunds spoke at the event and said a prayer. Halifax County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Seth Bowen led the Pledge of Allegiance and then played the National Anthem from YouTube via the speaker of a State Police vehicle.

As for future events, “Oh yes, I plan to have the 5K every year in May,” said Wooding.

Overall the fundraiser was a success. “We have not totaled the amount raised and there are still donation checks rolling in. I know I have a few coming to me this week,” said Wooding.

Cornhole boards were won by Bruce Anderson who decided to auction them off to raise money towards the scholarship fund. Jonathan Milam and John Taylor Conner purchased the American Flag cornhole boards.

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