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Deputy to honor fallen officers with third run across Michigan

Deputy to honor fallen officers with third run across Michigan

Matt Garbarino, reserve deputy from Kent County Sheriff’s Office, will run 100 miles in 24 hours on June 18

For a third consecutive year, reserve deputy Matt Garbarino will be taking his passion for fitness on the road to continue the journey he started in 2018. Once again, he will be running to honor law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty in the state of Michigan.

The initiative, called Run Across Michigan, will be a solo run that spans 100 miles in just 24 hours. The journey begins in the town of Ashton and concludes just south of Grand Rapids in Gaines Township. The 2020 run had some grand plans that became unrealistic after the coronavirus hit the United States.

“We had some big plans this year, with police escorts, an open-to-the-public fun run at the end of the route and an end of run celebration,” Garbarino said. “But COVID-19 has impacted all of us. This year, it seemed right to run on my own to be mindful of public health and valuable police resources.”

To further raise awareness for his cause, Matt will run all 100 miles with a thin blue line flag. This flag is unique because friends and families of fallen officers have requested their loved one’s names be displayed in their honor. Fundraising efforts will be directed to MI-COPS (Michigan Concerns of Police Survivors), a charity that provides resources to assist the surviving families of law enforcement killed in the line of duty.

Since records have been kept in Michigan, there have been close to 600 line of duty deaths. The names of these men and women are engraved on the monument at the Michigan Fallen Heroes Memorial in Pontiac. 

“Matt’s efforts mean so much to the Fallen Heroes’ survivors and he is a fine ambassador of our agency and law enforcement in general,” said Michelle LaJoye-Young, Kent County Sheriff. “When he approached us for a third run this year, we were happy to give him our support once again.”

To learn more about Run Across Michigan 2020, visit runacrossmi.com and join the passionate community on the Run Across Michigan Facebook page.

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