MPC employees and community members participated in the third annual Spirit of Freedom 5K race hosted by HONOR, MPC’s Veterans employee network chapter in Findlay, Ohio, on Oct. 7. The race raised more than $24,000 for Flag City Honor Flight and other Honor Flight chapters. Honor Flight is a national nonprofit dedicated to celebrating U.S. veterans by inviting them to share in a day of honor at our nation’s war memorials. In recent years, contributions from MPC and our employees have helped to support the participation of approximately 90 veterans.
Nearly 230 employees and members of the Findlay community participated in the in-person race, and more than 100 employees from multiple MPC locations participated in the virtual race. Participants could choose to walk, run or ruck. Rucking is a common military term used to describe soldiers carrying a weighted backpack or military gear.
The in-person race included activities for families, such as a Kids’ run and a Touch-A-Truck event, giving kids an opportunity to interact with MPC trucks and fire trucks in partnership with the Findlay Fire Department. Representatives from local veteran nonprofits were also in attendance to share information about other resources available to veterans in the community.
“We had a great turnout, and it was exciting to see the community gather to support Flag City Honor Flight. Each year, the event continues to grow and the generous support from our colleagues and community makes me feel proud to work at MPC,” said MPC’s Health Services Programs & Employee Wellbeing Supervisor and co-chair of the HONOR Findlay employee network chapter Nick Batanian.
“I had a great time participating in the virtual race with a group of co-workers at our location in Kingfisher, Oklahoma,” said Zach Dollich, MPC Personal Safety Professional and co-chair of the local employee network chapter. “I enjoy being a part of the network and creating a sense of community among our veteran employees and allies.”
Supporting Flag City Honor Flight and other Honor Flight chapters
MPC’s Benefits Analyst and HONOR member Cari Croy attended the in-person 5K event and recently served as a guardian, or flight companion, to an Honor Flight participant. “Serving as an Honor Flight guardian is truly an amazing experience. During the trip, I accompanied a veteran to the Vietnam War Memorial, where we honored his loved ones who passed away during the war. I’m thankful to know that our efforts from the race will give more veterans an opportunity to visit their war memorials.”
MPC’s Senior Supply Chain Business Analyst and race coordinator Allison Quinlan serves as a board member for Flag City Honor Flight. “Through my volunteer work at Flag City Honor Flight, I’ve had the opportunity to meet several veterans who have participated in the program. They are truly grateful for the experience,” she said. “A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this incredible cause.”