People hold a banner that contains the likeness of a man being honored during a memorial race.

Spectators hold a banner honoring Javier Ortiz during the 2016 SSGT Javier Ortiz Memorial 5K Race and Fitness Walk. (EMC file photo)

Rochester race to honor fallen Marine and help grieving families

Runners and walkers will gather in Rochester’s Seneca Park June 18 for the annual SSGT Javier Ortiz Memorial 5K Race and Fitness Walk.

The 5K race/walks begins at 9 a.m., while the children’s fun run gets underway at 10:15 a.m.

Runners can register and pick up packets from 1 to 6 p.m. June 17 at Burgos Income Tax, 1816 N. Clinton Ave., or can register starting at 8 a.m. June 18 at Longhouse shelter at Seneca Park. Participants also can register online at Cost for the race is $20 in advance and $25 the day of. The children’s fun run is free, and no prior registration is required.

Javier Ortiz of Rochester was a U.S. Marine staff sergeant who was killed in November 2010 by an IED roadside bomb while he was deployed in Afghanistan. He was 26 years old. Originally a fundraiser for the Rochester Puerto Rican Festival, the event was renamed in 2011 to honor Ortiz and now serves to honor all Latino soldiers and to promote wellness.

All proceeds from the event will go to TAPS, which stands for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. The organization provides care to those grieving the deaths of military loved ones.

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