Sewickley teen plans annual 5K to help comfort, heal veterans
So many people want to help wounded warriors that Rob Veltre III of Sewickley had to find more space for them at the race he's planning.
Veltre, a member of Quaker Valley High School's cross country team, is organizing the third annual Brave American 5K, set for March 8, to raise money for Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness. The retreat, which opened in September on 37 acres in Bluemont, Va., provides a no-cost getaway for injured military veterans and their families.
Last year's race drew more than 300 participants, and Veltre said he hopes for 400 this year. The starting location for the race has been changed from Sewickley Valley YMCA's Walter J. Brannon Community Activity Center to St. Stephen's Church to provide more room for the increased number of participants.
The routes also have been changed to ease traffic management.
Veltre, 18, a Quaker Valley senior and son of Delia Battista and Robert Veltre Jr. of Sewickley, first organized the race as his personal project for school. He raised $14,000 the first year and $37,000 the second to help build the $10 million retreat.
His goal this year is $50,000, which will help to subsidize veterans' visits. Programs and lodging cost $350 per day, said Amelia Pettit, assistant director for Boulder Crest.
“I thought this would never get off the ground the first year. I'm so happy it got to this point,” Veltre said.
Pettit said race proceeds help to support the “important healing taking place at Boulder Crest Retreat to wounded warrior military service members, veterans and their families.”
She said the race has become one of the retreat's most anticipated events.
“We appreciate the generosity of the race participants, sponsors and volunteers who are among many retreat supporters from Pennsylvania,” she said.
The retreat features a large communal lodge, fishing pond, archery range, hiking trails and four cabins where veterans can stay at no cost for up to two weeks to get away from their day-to-day, outpatient care cycles, spend time with family and participate in a variety of activities. Veltre's father is a member of the Boulder Crest Retreat board.
“We are extremely grateful to Rob Veltre and his family for their ongoing commitment and hard work to support Boulder Crest Retreat,” Pettit said.
Veltre said he has “been a fan of helping the troops for a few years, and this is an outlet to do that. It's such a great cause.”
Veltre, who attended the retreat's grand opening, said he was “happy and relieved that our nation's veterans now have a retreat to help them recuperate and readjust to civilian life.
The retreat is a 501(c)3 nonprofit facility, with funding and volunteer contributions coming from local and national corporations, nonprofit organizations and private citizens.
Veltr tutors as a side business, volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and World Vision and is a member of student council and National Honor Society. He said he would like a career as an aerospace engineer.
Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sewickley-based group seeks $1M for Sewickley Heights land
- Need to modernize closes Ambridge theater doors ... for now
- St. James School enrollment remains steady, pastor says
- Sewickley Academy freshman making difference through love of science
- Photos: Quaker Valley students head back to class
- No-show slows progress on Sewickley Country Inn property
- Sewickley area experts react to Robin Williams’ death, depression
- Quaker Valley’s new chief eyes change, respects tradition
- Sewickley Council, theater group reach lease agreement
- Lane: Here’s to the making of an organized student
- Bus staff to work weekend ahead of Quaker Valley’s first day