This week, staff writer Abigail Rhodes talks with Bridget Slagan about the Second Helping Hometown Heroes NEPA 5K and 1-mile walk to benefit Camp Freedom, which is a year-round camp for individuals with disabilities including veterans, first responders and their families as well as Gold Star families.

  • Residence: Mayfield
  • Professional background: She has worked in the nonprofit field for five years.
  • Title: President and Founder of Helping Heroes NEPA

Q: What is the inspiration for this event?

A: I have always been an avid supporter of the Armed Forces and First Responders so when the opportunity opened up to hold a 5K and 1-mile walk to support those individuals, it was a no-brainer to jump at it. Originally, the event was scheduled to correspond with the Armed Forces Day Parade but had to be postponed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q: What’s included with the participation fee?

A: The $20 participation fee includes entry to the 5K or 1-mile walk. There will be a limited number of shirts available for participants, which is on a first- come, first-served basis at packet pick-up.

Q: What is your fundraising goal?

A: Our fundraising goal for this event is $10,000, between race registrations, sponsorships and basket raffles.

Q: How will proceeds be used?

A: Proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to Camp Freedom in Carbondale. Camp Freedom is a year-round adventure camp for individuals with disabilities, including veterans and first responders, their families, and Gold Star families which provides quality hunting, shooting sports, fishing, camping, hiking, biking and other year-round outdoor activities. These activities remove individuals from clinical settings into the healing environment of the outdoors and nature. They also promote the social well-being of the participants by interacting with their peers, their families and volunteers for a lifetime.

Q: Are you accepting donations online?

A: Yes, donations can be made at helping

Q: Are there specific COVID-19 guidelines?

A: The race will have staggered start times allowing participants to be spread out. The awards will be scored on chip timing so that each participant’s actual time is used due to the staggered starts. Face masks will be recommended when participants are not able to appropriately maintain proper distancing.


If you go

  • What: 5K and 1-mile walk to benefit Camp Freedom.
  • When: Saturday, November 7 at 9 a.m.
  • Where: Blakely Borough Recreation Complex, parking is located on the corner of Keystone Avenue and River Street, Peckville.
  • Details: The Helping Hometown Heroes 5K and 1-mile walk costs $20 per participant. For more information, email


Contact the writer:; 570-348-9127