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Step for Veterans event planned

A North Dakota American Legion group has announced a Step for Veterans event that will raise money for homeless veterans in the state. The Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Committee is hosting the event that can be done from any location through July. Participants and teams will compete to see who completes the most steps in the month, and all proceeds will go to support veterans’ causes.

An inaugural event in March raised nearly $1,000, which has been used to purchase personal care items, from shampoo to socks, for men and women who served their country but are now without permanent housing.

“Our first event was relatively small and served as a trial run,” said Summer Kristianson, Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation chairwoman. “We’re ready to take our efforts further and roll out this event to more across the state who would like to help veterans while participating in some friendly competition.”

Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation is one of four pillars of the American Legion. The North Dakota committee has worked to prevent suicide and raise awareness of post-traumatic stress through past work, including the Courage Carries On campaign. Beyond billboards, videos and brochures, the campaign included a fundraising bike ride across the state that encouraged veterans, who had the courage to serve their country, to have the courage to ask for help when they’re experiencing symptoms resulting from their military service.

Those who would like to support veterans can sign up at https://bit.ly/2KfoVek. Once registered, participants will receive a Challenge Runner account via email that allows them to sync their steps from a smartphone or fitness watch and then see in real-time where they rank in the competition. Everyone who registers by June 30 will receive a drawstring bag, and prizes will be awarded to the top three steppers at the end of the competition.

For more information, email the committee at ndlegionvar@gmail.com.

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