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Up to the challenge?: Patriot Challenge to support local, national veteran families

Fergus Falls Daily Journal - 1/27/2021

Jan. 27—On Feb. 1, the Patriot Challenge, previously known as RunRangerRun, kicks off in support of local and national veteran families. Team Minnesota Veterans Home flagbearer and team captain, Jen Thielke, is looking forward to supporting veterans through fitness.

"Our community rallies around its veterans and their families and I'm so grateful that we are able to give some funds back to the Minnesota Veterans Home for their recreation fund this year," she shared. Thielke's family has been participating in the challenge fundraiser for the past three years under the RunRangerRun program, and are honored to continue the tradition under the new banner. Thielke's brother and personal hero, retired Army Ranger, Maj. Anthony Mayne, is the director of the Patriot Challenge.

The fitness challenge runs through the month of February, with logging on the final hours due by midnight on Feb. 28. While the activity is tracked in miles, any 15 minutes of activity equates to 1 mile.

This year, the Team Minnesota Veterans Home goal is to log 565 miles of activity. Last year the team of 30 participants more than doubled those miles. "I'm extremely grateful for the support of New Beginnings Family Fitness. They hosted last year's community kickoff and they continue to hang the RunRangerRun and Patriot Challenge banners high. Last year we did a huge community kickoff, making us the first team nationally to record over 700 miles on Day 1! This year we will try to work out as a team or individually with registered team members in order to respect social distancing and safety guidelines," expressed Thielke.

Registration is now open for the Patriot Challenge. The cost of registration is $45, $20 of which is a direct donation to the parent nonprofit organization.

"Locally, ensuring the highest quality of life for our heroes in the Veterans Home is something that every participant can feel great about as they also work toward their own fitness goals," Thielke explained.

Other proceeds benefit the GallantFew, which provides opportunities to support veterans in positive community connections and leadership roles following their service. It also provides veteran families with changes to meet at community events that get both parents and children together to build strong positive connections.

To register or to make a donation (no fitness activity required), go to Joining the existing team, Minnesota Veterans Home assists in working toward the goal of 565 miles. Registration code: Take10PC2021 saves $10 on registration through Jan. 31.

Questions can be directed to Jenn Thielke at, via Facebook private message to Jen Thielke, or by posting your question on the Patriot Challenge Team — Minnesota Veterans Home Facebook page.


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