GLOUCESTER CITY — More than 200 people took to Burlington Street in Gloucester City to participate in the third annual Cpl. Marc T. Ryan Memorial and 5K Run on Saturday.
The run is held each year at the Gloucester City VFW to support the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, which provides educational scholarships to the children of law enforcement or military officers who have died in the line of duty.
According to Cheryl Morrell, whose husband Robert is a member of the foundation that helps organize the event, the run is held each year to honor the memory of Ryan, a former Gloucester City resident.
Ryan, whose father Thomas is also a former Marine, served as a weapons specialist in the United States Marine Corps during the Iraq War in the early 2000s.
On Nov. 15, 2004, the Marine was killed in Iraq by an improvised explosive device in the city of Ramadi.
Morrell said that her husband, a retired Marine, met the Ryan family at a memorial service and decided the run would be a good way to continue to keep his memory alive while also raising money to further children’s education.
The event had a little over 200 people pre-register, according to Morrell, but they expect that number to rise once they count up the number of people who registered on the day of the event.
Each runner has to pay $25 to register for the event, which is then donated to the foundation to go toward scholarships, according to Morrell.
She said that while it’s good to have people willing to donate to the cause, it’s equally important to keep the memory of Cpl. Ryan alive in the hearts of Gloucester City residents.
“It’s a great feeling that they do support it,” said Morrell. “It’s just a great cause.”
And while Ryan himself was single and didn’t have any children, his parents along with his brother and sister attend the event each year.
In addition to the run, organizers held a dedication to James McNamee Sr., a World War II veteran who was one of the U.S. Army soldiers who was involved in the D-Day invasion into Normandy, France.
McNamee, who was a longtime employee at Gloucester Catholic High School, died earlier this year of congestive heart failure at his Gloucester County home.
Photo Slideshow of photos from the 1st Annual Cpl Marc T. Ryan 5K Memorial Run/Walk