Gabreski Squadron Supports Charity Marathon
Capt. James Ridley, Sr., PAO

HAUPPAUGE, NY – July 14, 2007.  The Annual Thunder Run Marathon was run today in Hauppauge NY to benefit the “Rolling Thunder Special Needs Program”.  It was a perfect day to run and more than 20 members of the squadron turned out to support this worthy cause. 

The Annual Thunder Run is a road race benefiting mentally and physically challenged children and adults. Funds raised by this event provide support to challenged athletes, offering them the opportunity to compete on the same level as mainstream athletes.  The Civil Air Patrol’s responsibility was to aid runners in need, coordinate traffic and runner security over the route, man water tables and provide assistance when necessary.

Four teams of cadets were dispatched along the five mile course: two teams manned water stations to hand water to thirsty runners and the other two teams kept the runners going in the right direction and helped the Suffolk County Auxilary Police with route security.  The remaining members of the squadron manned a command post at the marathon’s starting point coordinating communications and personnel assignments.    Afterwards all the volunteers received event T-Shirts and were treated to a barbecue with all the fixings. 

About the Rolling Thunder Runners Club - Rolling Thunder Special Needs Program (RTSNP) is a non-profit organization set up specifically for physically and mentally challenged athletes. The athletes are given a chance to train in all aspects of running, walking and fitness and they compete at all levels in mainstream competitions. They are members of Long Island Track and Field as well as their parent club, United States Track and Field. They are the first club in the country set up for the physically and mentally disabled. Most importantly, through competition, the athletes earn the respect they deserve as they develop the confidence and self-esteem that they need to be successful in life. The mission of their program is Independence, Inclusion and Choice.