Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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October 9, 2012

Students put on event to Hoof it for Homeless Vets

BROWNSBURG — For Hannah Paczkowski and a few of her classmates, the statistic hit like a ton of bricks: one in three homeless men are military veterans.

With that in mind, plus being inspired by former DECA student and veteran Zach Day who is nearing the end of his 2,000 mile Hike for Hoosier Vets along the Appalachian Trail, Paczkowski and fellow Brownsburg High School seniors Morgan Weller and Nick Kelley are putting on a Hoofin’ It for Hoosier Vets 5K run/walk to raise money for the cause.

The event is 9 a.m. Nov. 10, Veterans Day weekend, at Williams Park in Brownsburg, but with early trouble drumming up participation and support, the students are canvassing both their hometown and Avon in hopes of getting the word out.

“All the proceeds are going to the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation,” Paczkowski said. “We started looking at (the statistics) and as we got more involved we realized what a great need it was in the community and how big of an effect the HVAF really has so we wanted to do something even more so we decided to do a race.”

With 180,000 members internationally, DECA is a program that allows students with career interests in marketing, management, hospitality, finance, entrepreneurship, and business administration to be part of a co-curricular program that gives them hands on experience in their chosen fields.

Weller, Paczkowski, and Kelley are all public relations focused. The three have lofty goals for their event.

“We’re hoping to raise $5,000 through sponsors, but not only are we hoping to raise money, but we’re wanting to raise awareness too.” Weller said. “I didn’t know about the HVAF before I started this and I think that if people come out and see our race and we get to show them everything, they’ll be more willing to donate in the future or at least be aware of it.”

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