The 2016 Chris Kyle + Chad Littlefield memorial Run was an amazing success! While we certainly plan and expect a certain amount of growth year over year, 2016 exceeded ALL of our wildest expectation! Every single aspect of the weekend was bigger and better than it was in 2015. And when you're in Texas, "bigger and better" is always a good thing!
We kicked the weekend off on Friday night, October 28th with our Veteran's charity banquet and live auction. Due entirely to the exceptional generosity of both our donors and our amazing patrons, we raised just over $15,000 in 3 hours! Huge thanks go out to Granbury Mayor Nin Hulett, Granbury City Manager Chris Coffman, and Granbury Chief of Police Mitch Galvan for helping us to create an evening to remember.
The evening was anchored by an absolutely spectacular set of speakers. Chad Littlefield's older brother, Jerry Richardson, led things off with an emotionally jarring tale about the man that Chad was. Disabled athlete and Navy SEAL LCDR Amir Pishdad electrified the room with Patriotism. World-renown endurance athlete, Matt "the Bear" Novakovic, then spoke about fitness and the fact that age is never a barrier. And finally, disabled Army Veteran and Boston Marathon finisher, Earl Granville, gave a stirring speach of pride and hope!
Somewhere in between all those amazing speeches we somehow found a way to eat dinner AND do a live auction that raised just over $14,000 by itself!
On Saturday morning long before the sun came up, thousands upon thousands of athletes, veterans, and community supporters descended on Rough Creek Lodge and Resort in Glen Rose, TX for the Spartan Race: Beast - i.e. The Kyle + Littlefield Memorial Run. Among the runners that day were Jerry Richardson, older brother of Chad Littlefield...running in memory of and in honor of his brother. Also running that day in his wheelchair, aided by a Team of specially trained Veterans from Operation Enduring Warrior, was LCDR (SEAL) Amir Pishdad!
It total, well over 12,000 people participated in the run that Saturday. The number of people that wore the tshirts...or a hat...or a patch in support of our veterans couldn't have been counted. the outpouring of support both on the course and across the entire property was truly overwhelming. In the eventing after I had completed my own race, Chad Littlefield's parents were still at our tent inside the Spartan Race festival area. I went over to Mama Littlefield and asked her how her day was. Tears began to roll down her cheeks as she said, "I haven't felt this kind of love for Chad from so many people that I've never even met. I'm overwhelmed."
By the time we shut down the 2016 operation, we had raised a grand total of $43,936.14. These funds were then evenly distributed between:
Guardian for Heroes
America's Mighty Warriors
The F7 Group
On a more personal note, each year I have a ton of people come up to me and thank me for what I do. And, I always find this odd because there's absolutely no way in hell I could even remotely do this by myself. the sheer number of people I need to personally thank is daunting. But, I would be remiss in my responsibilities if I didn't at least give it a good Navy try! (apologies in advance for anyone and everyone that I miss on this list and deserve to be on it!)
Notables to Thank:
The entire Littlefield Family - words truly cannot express what I feel in my heart for you all...
Taya Kyle - for your exceptional generosity, support, and strength.
Marcus Growden - no single person worked harder or longer or cared as much as this man. Thank you for EVERYTHING my friend.
Mike Marshall - My consigliere. When I would run off into the woods and howl at the moon, this man brought me back and reminded me what we are all here for.
John and Nina Armstrong - Superheroes without equal. These two flew in and saved the day when key members of the team were hospitalized and completely unable to participate.
Robert and Stef Raya - not only did they donate THE biggest item of the entire live auction, singlehandedly turning that evening into a monstrous success. The amount of time and effort that they put into this project to help make connections, find volunteers, hell...they even helped us fold tshirts and fill orders...goes SO far outside the definition of "above and beyond the call of duty" that there is no adjective to express my gratitude. Truly.
Cassaundra Melgar-c'de Baca - never in the history of this project has a BENEFICIARY rolled up their sleeves and gotten in at the ground level to do everything in their power to make this event a success!
SPECIAL THANKS To The Entire Team of Volunteers for 2016...
Carly Nance Larson
Jenny Long O'Dell
Nathan Long O'Dell
Roy Daniel Weaver
Sharon Tatum Hill
William Josiah Rivera
We would like to thank these individuals as well...
Bede and Randy Ramcharan
Ken Oie @ Condor Outdoors
Fleming Seay @ Alienware Computers
Frank Alvarez @ Rough Creek Lodge
Steven Kahla @ Olathe Boot Company
Jeff Byers, Alex Kunz, Eric Pollad - all from FrogFuel
The entire team at Gatoz Sunglasses
Brian Deal and the amazing team at Aero Precision
Chris Weeks @ Cedar Park Gun Works
Liam @ Blackguard Customs
Matt Piper @ American Steel Worx
Ana Elizabeth Argueta
Dave and Becky Bray
Savage Race - Tony Matesi
LCDR (SEAL) Amir Pishdad
CAPT. Robert Killian Jr.
Earl Granville - OEW
Kris Biggs - OEW
Walt Romano - OEW
John Sales - OEW
Jojo Kreischer - OEW
Shane Dowel - OEW
Tim Vaughan - OEW
Robert Lyday Lt. (SEAL) Brian Heaphy
BMC (SEAL) Billy Hoffman
Samuel T. Machen
Remember Chris and Chad with us!
- Proudly announcing our partnership with @cwc_org & Jason Redman, founder, ret US Navy SEAL and author. Join us… http://t.co/AcJASG4M2U 3 months ago
- Thanks to our sponsor Colfax Tactical in Oregon for sharing the progress of the custom rifle for FHMR Dinner Oct 27… http://t.co/0jdEfQmdqK 3 months ago
- Reserve your Table of 8! $1,000 for General Admission & $2,000 for VIP. Tickets at http://t.co/VWWljft2ua, limited… http://t.co/vH8DmBTBK9 4 months ago