A small group of local residents will join thousands of other Americans in a 27-day, 1,700-mile relay march, which aims to place an added emphasis on the meaning of Memorial Day while simultaneously generating funding for existing non-profit veteran support organizations.
Organized by Carry The Load, a non-profit organization founded by three former Navy SEALs, the 1,700-mile journey will be broken down into 350 five-mile segments, which will then be walked by individuals and groups until they connect with the next party.
The relay will make its way through the southern portion of Montgomery County at 10 p.m. on May 3, with Danielle Kelly, Jackie DeWaters, Jeremy Sawvet and Ray Petrillia carrying the load from Philmont Avenue in Feasterville to Red Lion Road in Lower Moreland. At midnight on May 4, the group of Fred Kufta, Ian Ward, Jamie Allen and Ron Major will pick up the relay at Red Lion Road in Lower Moreland and continue the march through Cottman Avenue in Philadelphia.
While there is no requirement as to what groups are supposed to carry, participants are encouraged to carry patriotic symbols and items which belonged to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Aside from the personal items, there will be several other items which will make the entire 1,700-mile journey.
Groups and individuals are encouraged to freely join the march at any time, and for those who don't feel like putting on their walking shoes, volunteers are also needed to return each group back to their starting point. Contact information for each group is available on Google Maps.
The majority of the local portion of the relay is sponsored by Lincoln Financial, but additional opportunities for sponsorship are available both locally and nationally on the Carry The Load website, which also features an interactive map and a timeline of the march.
The relay will reach its end point in Dallas, Texas at 3:48 p.m. on Memorial Day, at which point a localized celebration will begin. Proceeds of the march will go to various veterans organizations, including the Snowball Express and the Yellow Ribbon Fund.