The son of a homeless veteran, along with supporters, strove to turn misfortune into a sign of hope to inspire a better future for the country’s veterans.
On Sunday October 25, Liam McCabe partnered up with organizations Who’s Saving Who and Support Homeless Veterans to honor his late father Willie McCabe and other homeless veterans.
The event was held in the form of a 5K run which lated from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. It was held at Owl’s Head Park located at Colonial Road and 68th Street.
After a slow start, McCabe said, the event turned out beautifully. “we started off with uncertain weather, but then the clouds cleared, the sun came out and people came out of nowhere,” he told this paper. “It was really great.” McCabe credits his girlfriend Christine for running the show and keeping things organized down to the very last detail.
“The turnout was better than expected,” McCabe added. “We thought we’d have about 30 or 40 people, but ended up with about 70 or 80, and then with people walking by and joining in, we probably reached about 100. My father would have loved that, That was his spirit,” His father had a very “everyone come on down,” vibe about him, McCabe added.
McCabe also said how nice it was for family and friends of his father to show up in support of the cause and to honor Willie. “They were saying they felt his spirit,” McCabe noted.
The first place winner of the 5K run didn’t just get bragging rights. Rather, Firefighter Thomas Horan — first to cross the finish line– received a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in memory of Ridgeite Howard Dunn, a longtime advocate for veterans who recently died. “He was very emotional about it and happy to win,” recalled McCabe, who said that Horan is hoping to be granted permission to frame the flag and hang it up in the firehouse as a sign of remembrance.
Along with music, food, and fun activities, everyone was given t-shirts to wear that said “Willie McCabe Memorial 5K” adorned with an image of Willie McCabe. Some of the participants wore long johns, as an ode to Willie McCabe’s personal style; “Long johns were kind of his thing,” noted McCabe.
Over $1,000 was raised for the two veterans’ organizations.