MILLTOWN — Saint Mark’s High School hosted two events to mark Veterans Day on Nov. 11 and to honor a graduate who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The first event was a breakfast for veterans and active-duty military members and their families. The meal was free, with donations accepted to support the Cpl. Stephen M. McGowan Fund.
McGowan was a 1996 graduate of Saint Mark’s who was killed in Iraq in 2005 while serving in the Army. The fund provides assistance for the children of active-duty military and veterans to attend Saint Mark’s.
After the breakfast, the inaugural Corporal Stephen M. McGowan 20K Challenge was held on the school’s track in the football stadium. School president Tom Fertal, himself a veteran, signaled the start of the event and participated while carrying a 20-lb. sack for the 20 kilometers, which is 12.4 miles. It was 50 laps around the track.
People were welcome to register as individuals or as part of a team. The 20-lb. sack was encouraged for individuals, but not required. Teams were expected to have at least one sack, and they could do the event in a relay fashion or concurrently. The challenge lasted for five hours.
The school raised at least $20,000.
Photos courtesy of Saint Mark’s High School.