Races to benefit individual causes usually start quickly and then begin to lose momentum as the years go by.Just the opposite is happening with the Brad Fox 5K, soon to celebrate its eighth year of honoring the memory of the late Warminster military and police hero who died in the line of duty.Last year, the race enjoyed its largest field ever and this year’s April 18 event is expected to draw even more runners near the Archbishop Wood High School campus.In the seven-year history of the race, some $300,000 has been raised for worthy local charities and for Fox’s family.Race director Darren Meehan continues to put on a first-class event with the help of a hard-working committee and support from the community.“We’re growing each year and that’s nice,’’ Meehan said. “It’s kind of the opposite of what typically happens.“That was one of the goals that we had from the start, to never forget the sacrifice that Brad made. And also not to forget the sacrifice that countless others made in service to both our country and our community.’’Fox, a former member of the Plymouth Township police department, was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 13, 2012 (one day short of his 35th birthday), leaving behind his pregnant wife, Lynsay, who gave birth to Brad Jr. on March 25, 2013.The decorated officer also served as a U.S. Marine for two tours of duty in Iraq, so he truly is an American hero.Brad Jr. will be celebrating his seventh birthday on the aforementioned date of March 25 and will be at the race along with his sister, Kadence, who is a year older.One of the pre-race highlight activities is a special dinner menu at the Steam Pub in Southampton on March 5 and through April.“They do a Brad Fox menu,’’ Meehan explained. “The food in inspired by foods that Brad either ate or liked to make himself.“The pub has met with Brad’s family and collected stories and then built a menu based on those stories. Then they donate a very generous portion of the profits to us.’’Usually the race is held in late March or early April. However, weather has become an issue in a few instances so moving back to mid-April will remove the threat of snow, etc.The Brad Fox Scholarship Fund each year donates to:
- One William Tennent High School senior studying law enforcement or exploring a career in the military.
- An incoming Archbishop Wood High School freshman who demonstrates selfless services within their community.In addition, the race has benefited the Warminster Township and Warrington Townships K-9 Units and Alpha Bravo Canine.This year, money is being donated to:
- The Superhero Project
- Delaware Valley Veterans’ Home
- Bucks County Admirals
- Horsham Little League Challengers
In the past, money also has been donated to:
- Brad Fox Children’s Fund.
- Families of Fallen Police/First Responders,
- Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House.
- Montgomery County Special Olympics.
- Bucks County Down Syndrome Interest Group.
- Duskin & Stephens Foundation —Area Police Department K-9 Units.“We want to continue to tell Brad’s story,’’ Meehan said in an interview last year. “Brad literally did everything he could for his country and then for his community.“Since his kids wouldn’t have a chance to know their father personally, part of what we do is to continue to tell Brad’s story and build upon that for them.“Also to communicate to Brad’s entire family, not just his widow and his kids, but his parents, grandparents, brother. . .just to communicate to them that Brad’s sacrifice isn’t forgotten.’’Registration is available at www.officerbradfoxday.org The course is USATF certified. Pre-registration closes Sunday.Meehan credits all the people who continue to support the race through their organizational efforts.“We’re fortunate in that we’ve got momentum,’’ he said in a recent telephone conversation. “We’ve got a committee of people that are extremely motivated.“We remain focused on our mission.’’Race calendarSundayGrilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4-Miler, 10 a.m., Washington Crossing Historic Park, Washington Crossing. Contact www.runsignup.com