West Chester business launches fundraising effort for wounded veterans

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West Chester business launches fundraising effort for wounded veterans

IF YOU GO

Go The Extra Mile for the Vets 5K” run/walk

9 a.m. Saturday

The Square @ Union Centre, 9285 Centre Pointe Dr.

Register or learn more: www.tinyurl.com/cincinnati5k.

Low to High Challenge: visit www.veteranlowtohighchallenge.com/5k/cincinnati.

Twitter: @cincinnati5K

A company’s local office is mounting a national campaign to help wounded veterans, as well as the children of veterans killed in combat.

Orion International, the nation’s largest military talent firm, provides new post-military careers to thousands of transitioning veterans, both in the United States and internationally, at no cost or obligation to them.

But the company, which has its Midwest U.S. office at 9100 Towne Centre Drive in West Chester Twp., is about more than just that, said Todd Phillips, a partner with the company and a U.S. Army officer who served in Afghanistan for nine months during 2002.

“Beyond the day-to-day programs we offer, our firm decided to do something more this year to provide additional support for veterans and their families,” Phillips said.

Orion aims to do that with its Low to High Challenge campaign which aims to raise more than $100,000 in 2014 to be donated entirely to charities supporting veterans who have been wounded and injured in combat, as well as the children of veterans killed in combat.

To help raise funds for the national campaign, the firm is hosting “Go The Extra Mile for the Vets 5K” run/walk, which will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, at The Square @ Union Centre, 9285 Centre Pointe Drive.

The event is one of five 5Ks that Orion International is running nationally this year. The other four are planned to occur in Raleigh, N.C.; Virginia Beach, Va.; San Diego, Calif.; and Austin, Texas.

Phillips, who will compete in the West Chester race as a member of the Cincinnati area’s Team Red, White and Blue, said many people may have lost loved ones who have given their lives while serving in the U.S. military or know others who have been wounded in service to the nation.

“I lost some great friends in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and also know several other veterans who were wounded and will now spend the rest of their lives trying to overcome these injuries,” Phillips said. “To me, this is amazing. We give back to the military community every single day by helping veterans find jobs, but this is another way of giving back and it’s at another level, a more personal level and I think it’s a great thing.

Low to High Challenge also is accepting corporate donations, individual donations. It will cap its fundraising efforts Oct. 10-18 in Death Valley National Park, Calif.

“We’re going from the lowest point in the continental United State to the highest point and it’s a 130-mile trek over seven days,” Phillips said. “There’s a team of 25 of us from our organization going.”

All proceeds and donations from each event will directly support wounded warriors, transitioning combat veterans and children of fallen military service members through Orion’s partner non-profit veterans organizations — Operation Military Embrace, Warrior Hike and Children of Fallen Patriots.

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