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Fundraisers, pomp and circumstance for Veterans Day
Matthew Freeman Foundation, SD Gunner Fund benefit
Gunner Kinard the pirate - audience favorite
Gunner is a service dog that inspired a foundation to help veterans and children afford having service dogs. - photo by Photo provided.

The sixth annual Capt. Matthew Freeman Memorial 5K begins at 8:30 a.m. on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at J.F. Gregory Park in Richmond Hill.

That will kick off a series of activities to honor those who served in the military, including a ceremony at 11 a.m. in J.F. Gregory Park and a fundraiser for an organization that helps veterans and disabled children own service animals.

The city’s program includes speakers, the Fort Stewart color guard, a 21-gun salute and the laying of a wreath. The event is free and open to the public.

SD Gunner Fund

The SD Gunner Fund’s inaugural fundraiser will be at the Richmond Hill City Center after the city’s ceremony.  

The fund hopes to introduce area residents to the Kinards, an Evans County family, and learn more about their nonprofit that helps veterans and disabled children afford service animals. Funds raised from lunches eaten at the City Center go to the fund. There are additional sponsorships starting at $250 per table up, along with donation opportunities.

Opening remarks will begin at 11:45 a.m. with a presentation of flags, the Pledge of Allegiance and introductions, and then the organization will make a presentation.

Tickets are priced at $20 per person, and a table for up to eight may be purchased. Tickets are available at from the SD Gunner Facebook page at or by calling Britnee Kinard at 615-804-3533.

“It is wonderful to see how much our community supports nonprofit organizations,” City Center general manager Beverly Cosmann said. “When I met Britnee and Gunner, the family’s service dog, and learned more about their work, I knew we needed to pull together as a community to help this nonprofit.”

Go to for more informatiion.

Freeman Memorial Race

The Capt. Matthew Freeman Memorial Race was started to remember a hometown hero, Marine Capt. Matthew Freeman, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009. The race raise money for the Matthew Freeman Foundation, a nonprofit. Following the race, the city’s ceremony will be at 11 a.m.

“The focus of this year’s race is to help raise funds for Gold Star families through the Sibling Scholarship Fund and to raise money for the Matthew Bear Project, which gives handmade bears to families who have lost their hero,” Capt. Freeman’s mother Lisa Freeman said.

Register for the race for $35 through Tuesday. It costs $45 on race day. Registration includes a T-shirt. Additional T-shirts are $10. Runners may register online at or There also will be a free fun run for children (age 10 and under) and seniors.

Georgia Game Changers, 8872 Ford Ave., Suite 207, Richmond Hill, will hand our race packets from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Lisa Freeman said many businesses are sponsoring the race. Ward’s Auto Body has come on as this year’s Peace sponsor at $1,000. Other businesses, such as Plantation Hardware, Arc Media, Ella’s and Richmond Hill Pharmacy, along with Cedar Animal Hospital, Cadré Shops, Jalapeños, Re/Max Accent and Leahy Art Studio also support the race.  

Freeman said, “We hope to get families out here to run together this year, and we have multiple special discount codes, for Military members, (code RWB), students (code STUDENT) and for groups of 10 or more (code GROUP). At the run registration site,, those qualified can enter the code and get $5 off race registration.”

The race directors are the owners of Georgia Game Changers Running Company. For more information, call Sandra Elliott at the company at 912-445-2163, or go to the store’s Facebook Page.

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