Marine Wife and Retired Service Member Spearheads Fundraising Run for Wounded, Critically Ill and Injured Service Members
WHAT: This weekend, over 500 runners and handcyclists will rally for the 2nd annual Beat the Bridge, raising funds and awareness for injured veterans. Now in its second year, the 10k run/walk is well on its way to raising over $25,000 for the Semper Fi Fund thanks to the support of the Jacksonville community, and one woman determined to make a difference.
WHEN: Saturday, April 9, 8:20am – 12pm
WHERE: New Bridge Middle School, 401 New Bridge Street, Jacksonville, NC
Chris Ingraham, race founder and coordinator:
Chris Ingraham always wished there was a race in Jacksonville that crossed the Bridge, a scenic route the avid runner often took herself. She had also been thinking for some time of ways to help injured service members and their families. A Marine wife and amputee, having lost her arm to cancer as a child, she related on multiple levels to the challenges they faced.
“I only have one arm, so I understand the desire to live a very active lifestyle despite missing a limb, or other injuries,” says Ingraham. “Beat the Bridge was a joining of all of my passions—running, volunteering and the Marine Corps.”
For Ingraham, Semper Fi Fund stood apart for its unparalleled commitment to the men and women they help: “Semper Fi Fund makes sure every dollar goes where it needs to go—they are all about giving back to service members and their families, and that's what drives me."
And as an athlete, Ingraham was eager to support Semper Fi Fund’s competitive athletics program, Team Semper Fi: “I love their motto of ‘Recovery Through Sport;’ service members by nature are competitive, so even if an injury alters their lifestyle, it doesn't take away the sense of competitiveness that's deep inside them." Ingraham continued, “I know how important getting outside and being competitive is. I love it when you see service members out there, and that they help people to continue to live an active life.”
Marc McMullin, race participant:
Marc McMullin is both an athlete and a champion fundraiser for Semper Fi Fund, and has been running for Semper Fi Fund for almost five years. This year, when he returns to Beat the Bridge for the second year in a row, he’ll also be returning to his former home, Camp Lejeune.
A Marine veteran who served in Desert Storm, McMullin “honored and cherished” his time in the Marine Corps: “I’m so in awe of what the current service members are doing, that they continue to volunteer, serve and sacrifice.”
McMullin was inspired to “support through sport,” because it “aligned with all of my passions and interests: living a healthy lifestyle, supporting vets, supporting people who are so courageous and deserve our attention.”
Semper Fi Fund is a cause that hits close to home for McMullin—he lost a friend and fellow Marine who served in Iraq post 9/11, and took his own life in 2009. Inspired by the lives his friend touched, he created a fundraising team in his honor, the “Rocheford Raiders.”
“This is a generational challenge that our country is faced with,” McMullin continued. “It’s up to us to take care of the men and women who have sacrificed so much for us. We can't let people forget.”
For additional information about Beat the Bridge, please visit: For additional questions prior to the event, please contact Alicia Sellitti, [email protected], (917) 822-9010. For day-of questions, please contact Kathy Wise, [email protected], (910) 515-1626.
About Semper Fi Fund
Semper Fi Fund and the America's Fund program provide urgently needed resources and lifetime support for wounded, critically ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Case managers from the Semper Fi Fund and America’s Fund work one-on-one with service members and veterans in order to understand and support their individual needs right now and throughout their lifetime. We keep our overhead low so our impact on the lives of service members and veterans is greater and we are one of only three veteran charities to receive an "A+" rating from The American Institute of Philanthropy, and a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.