Pooler Run for Heroes raises funds for 200 Club of the Coastal Empire

Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 10:38 PM EDT
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POOLER, Ga. (WTOC) - Runners lined up Saturday morning to run one mile to support the families of fallen first responders. This is the biggest revenue generator for the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire. While the run is commonly known as the “Savannah Mile,” this year it was held in Pooler under the new name “Pooler Run for Heroes.”

Nearly 800 participants laced up their shoes, and some even strapped on their gear, to run one mile for the community’s heroes.

“We don’t ever want to forget those that sacrificed everything for their communities, so this is just one way for us to come out and show support,” said Nathan Jentzen of the Port Wentworth Police Department.

For years Mark Dana, the President of the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire, says the organization has been able to financially support those who’ve lost a loved one in the line of duty.

“Nationwide we’re seeing more lives lost in law enforcement than any other year. We’re not even halfway through the year and we’re already over 150 lives lost in the line of duty,” said Dana.

From the Memorial Walk to the Heroes Heat, participants cheered each other on. Ronald Mixson says the 200 Club has been there for his family since he lost his son, Brian in March.

“He had an offset of a severe headache while at work and it turned into an aneurysm and he died 10 days later,” said Mixson.

Mixson’s son was a firefighter/EMT for Jasper County for 14 years. He was 32 years old.

“He started volunteering, I think, at the age of 16 and he just followed through with it and was going to make a career out of it,” said Mixson.

Dana says since the organization started they’ve provided more than $3.5 million to take care of the families of the fallen.

“We are so proud to see the young children that we first met when we responded, now grown up in college graduating without any debt and that’s what it’s all about,” he said.

Officer Jentzen says the weight he carried on his back for the run was nothing in comparison to the weight these families feel every day.

“These families have gone through unimaginable things,” said Jentzen.

The City of Savannah’s COVID-19 policies were too restrictive to hold the event there at the time it was being planned.

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