The Marchant Family will cross home plate at Fenway Park this Sunday, May 20, to support wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan by participating in the 3rd annual Run-Walk Home Base presented by New Balance.
The 3-mile walk/9K run event raises funds for the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program which provides clinical care and support services for veterans with Post Traumatic or Traumatic Brain Injuries and their families, according to the Run to Home Base website. Three thousand runners and walkers, including 500 active–duty military members are expected to participate on Sunday morning.
Avid Red Sox Fans, Stephen, Kelli and their daughters Haley (13) and Caitlin (9) were familiar with the Red Sox Foundation, and "as a family, we were looking for a fun way to raise money as for charity," Stephen said.
The Marchants raised $3,215.00 which is 129 percent of their goal according to Kelli. Although team donations have closed, general donations are still accepted online, she said.
Since the disorders, also known as "invisible wounds" are not always evident, Kelli emphaized that this walk is about educating people, as well as funding the programs.
Kelli explained that they have taught their daughters to be grateful for the troops and respect the important work they do. Stressing the importance of supporting military personnel, Kelli said her sister (non-active) and cousin have both served our country.
The walk or run begins on Yawkey Way and ends on Home Plate at Fenway. Although Haley and Caitlin are both active in sports, all children under 16 are required to walk, Kelli explained.
“It is so important that everybody is supportive of the troops who keep us safe," said Haley, a seventh grader at the Wynn Middle School. "Since you can’t always tell if they have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, it is important to get help for them.”
The Marchant Family makes it a point to attend two or three Red Sox home games a year and started a summer tradition of visiting other parks, a few years ago. Together they have rooted for the Red Sox in New York, Washington, D.C, Baltimore, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Tampa.