Running 4 Heroes: K-9

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(Ashlyn Grey for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala.- At only 8 years old, Theresa Ann runs 1 mile for every fallen military and police officer listed on www.odmp.org/k9. Theresa Ann has been helping first responders with lemonade stands since she was 3 years old, and this bright-eyed girl has been seeking opportunities to do more ever since. On her fourth birthday, she wanted to have a lemonade stand to offer support to K-9s and their units. She ended up raising nearly $900 that day and has since raised $19,000 for numerous causes, such as Toys for Tots, Children’s Hospital and injured officers. 

In winter, Theresa Ann noticed that not many people were in search of a lemonade stand so she transitioned to fundraising through running. She has now run 5Ks in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Henderson, Nevada to honor Vegas Strong Victims and fallen officers. 

When COVID-19 struck, Theresa Ann’s fundraising efforts came to a halt for nearly 14 months. When she discovered Running 4 Heroes, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families of fallen first responders, she realized that nobody was running for K-9s. She began running for members of K-9 units and now, donations and grants can be supplied to these organizations. Her first vest is this weekend, June 5, in Texas and she has set a goal to run at least 1 mile in each state.  

Friday evening, Theresa Ann ran 1 mile in honor of Cullman Sheriff K-9 Figo as part of her mission to run for all fallen K-9s. In early Feb. 2020, Deputy Adam Clark and his K-9, Figo, were both critically injured in an accident whereafter Figo died from health-related issues. Fortunately, Deputy Clark was able to return to work in early January of this year. 

Running 4 Heroes is always looking for more youth to get involved. “We want to encourage our youth to come out and support the first responders and military.  Eventually, for this organization to keep going and helping first responders and military, we need the youth to keep running. You can also donate to help with the grants and K-9 vests at https://running4heroes.org/. All the money raised goes to the organization,” said Running 4 Heroes associate, Robert Babcock. 

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