ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The SkyWay 10K raises millions of dollars for military families, and this past weekend, they added to the pot.

What You Need To Know

  •  160 busses were used to get all 8,000 registered runners to the bridge for the race

  •  The 10K race rasises millions of dollars for veterans

  • The maximum runners is 8,000 and the event usually sells out every year

“I’ve been working with veterans for a few years now,” said Niki Austin. “You hear their stories and you know the sacrifices they’ve made; today is an opportunity to give back to them and it means a lot.”

Niki Austin represents Skyway 10K, and she told me it took 160 busses to get all 8,000 registered runners to the bridge.

“This is the 5th annual event,” said Austin. “Our max is 8,000 people, and it’s usually sold out every time.”

Organizers from today’s events told me all registration fees for today’s event and the previous, including the virtual run last year – goes towards Armed Forces Families Foundation. This is something not only the runners support but the community.

Sponsors of the 2022 Skyway 10K include Pepsi, iHeart Media, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Horse Soldier Bourbon, Shipyard Brewing Company, Corcoran Partners, Einstein Bros Bagels, Seadog Brewing Co. and more.

Prior to this weekend’s run, Armed Forces Families Foundation was working on several projects towards their mission, including:

  • $12,836 for the construction of a new tranquility garden for the Orlando VA acute mental health inpatient team.
  • $85,140 to the USO Foundation to help fund costs for a new USO at center at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
  • $46,572 to upgrade an existing on-site internet cafe and added a second location for patients and guests of Bay Pines CW Bill Young VA Medical Center in Bay Pines, Florida.
  • $35,000 to construct a “leveled library” to over 700 Pre-K-8th grade students at Freedom Park Elementary School on Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. The leveled library will comprise over 6,240 content-area books that will engage students at various skill levels.
  • $11,146 for the purchase and installation of items needed to create fully-accessible indoor and outdoor theater spaces at the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center Community Living Center in Mountain Home, Tennessee.

On Sunday, I saw several veterans that were proud to be a part of the day and families of military members who said they were happy to support.

“This is my first time doing this. It’s a great event, said Rogelil Pagan. “I’m used to [the long run]. I’m a 20-year veteran, so I know what it’s like to wake up in the morning. I finished my 20 years. I retired in Oklahoma - got my paperwork and came straight to Florida.”