By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE — Devon Blair is lacing up his well-worn sneakers again as he prepares for a second annual 23-mile run from Selinsgrove Area High School to Knoebels Amusement Park in Elysburg on Aug. 7 to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.
The 17-year-old raised more than $4,000 last year for the national charity, which benefits injured servicemen and women.
He raised the money as part of a mandatory graduation project, but was encouraged by local Army National Guard members, his parents, Rick and Lynette, and others to repeat the fundraiser this year.
“I have so much respect for those guys (veterans). They put so much on the line,” Devon said of his commitment to the charity, founded in 2003.
Rick Blair is an avid long-distance runner, but Devon said he doesn’t share his father’s enthusiasm.
“I’m not the biggest fan of running. I’m doing this purely for the Wounded Warrior Project,” he said, recalling how he rebuffed offers to join the school track team. “I don’t like running competitively.”
Devon’s 23-mile run will begin at 7 a.m. Aug. 7. He will be joined by several other runners, including his father, and hopes to improve on last year’s time of 4 1/2 hours, including breaks.
“My plan is do it every year until I can’t run anymore or people stop responding,” the teen said of the fundraising run.
As of Thursday, Devon had raised $350 and still is accepting donations at http://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/individual-fundraising/devonblairbenefitrun2.
People are invited to cheer the runners on when they start off or along the way or meet them at Knoebels.