HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE -- Grove Park in Hot Springs Village will soon be utilized as a mile walk on Sept. 11, bringing awareness to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
The local event was planned by committee Chairman Judy Corwin, an HSV resident with a passion for the remembrance of the 9/11 attacks. Although this is the first year the Patriot Day Walk has been organized, she has organized other events in honor of 9/11, including performing a play she wrote, produced and directed herself and another play she bought the rights to about the true story of a chief firefighter who lost eight of his men, she said.
"It's my happiest day because I was married on 9/11/64," Corwin said. "And then 9/11 came about, and we were gonna go out and celebrate. I said, 'I'm never gonna celebrate my anniversary on 9/11 anymore. That's gonna be a special day.'"
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Between 8 a.m. and noon, participants can choose to walk the mile or enjoy the live entertainment and cheer on the walkers. The funds raised from the $11 fee to walk and $9 to bring a dog on a leash will go toward the $9,000 goal for the T2T Foundation.
The mission of T2T is to improve the lives of veterans, police officers, firefighters, first responders and their families. The foundation provides housing to homeless veterans, provides smart homes to disabled veterans and helps pay mortgages for family members who have lost someone who served in some way.
The T2T Foundation has also provided help to Rachel Scrimshire, whose husband, Cpl. Brent Scrimshire, was killed in the line of duty in 2020. The T2T Foundation paid off the rest of their mortgage.
Corwin reached out to the T2T Foundation, in search of a speaker for a "pre-event," she said. Her plan was to pick someone up from the airport and drive them to the Village, since she expected someone to have to travel a long way.
"About a week later, she said 'You'll never believe this, but a woman contacted us, and she wants to be on the ambassador speaker program.' ... Who is it? Rachel Scrimshire, right down the road. And so, I called and I talked with Rachel, and she said, 'Well, I'm getting kinda used to talking about it. I talked to a lot of policemen when Brent was shot. But I really thought I should share it.' I said, 'Great.'"
Rachel Scrimshire will be featured as a speaker, as someone who has been impacted by the T2T Foundation, for an event on Aug. 11 at 11 a.m. from the Woodlands Auditorium in the Village.
"The icing on the cake is to be able to have a speaker, now with Rachel," Corwin said. "And I thought that wasn't gonna happen, and it did."
Participants will also receive rubber bracelets displaying the words "Patriot Day Walk," T2T's website, T2T.org, and an image of the American flag. The bracelets were designed and created by Alliance Rubber, as a donation to Corwin's Patriot Day Walk fundraiser, Corwin said.
"They're very patriotic," Corwin said of Alliance Rubber. "You can't miss that flag that's on Carpenter Dam Road. That's their flag, and that was dedicated to veterans."
Although this is the first time Corwin has planned a Patriot Day Walk event, she would like for the tradition of hosting an event in remembrance of the 9/11 attacks to continue on, even if taken over by someone else, she said.
"I want somebody to take it over," she said. "And we don't have to do a walk every year. We can do anything."
For more information on the walk or to donate toward the T2T Foundation, visit https://dogood.t2t.org/campaign/hot-springs-village-patriot-day-walk-2023/c491580.