‘AuburnStrong 5K’ on Oct. 12 to benefit families of injured, fallen Auburn Police Department officers


By Morgan Bryce

Area runners can support the families of the four Auburn Police Department officers who were injured or killed earlier this year through the “AuburnStrong 5K” on Oct. 12.
Area resident Chasity Prughski, whose husband is a Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputy, is organizing the event, with backing from Auburn’s ALL IN Crossfit and BacktheBadge Lee County and Auburn-Opelika Running and Track Association.
In February, APD officer Justin Sanders was seriously injured but survived a shooting that occurred during a traffic stop of a robbery suspect. Fewer than three months later, APD officers William Buechner, Evan Elliott and Webb Sistrunk responded to a domestic incident on Wire Road that resulted in all three men being shot with Buechner ultimately losing his life.
These tragedies spurred Prughski to create an event to benefit the families involved. Instead of the traditional benefit concert or GoFundMe campaign, she opted for an event that would tap into the Auburn-Opelika’s substantial running community.
“With a lot of other (benefits or fundraisers), you never get to see the faces behind the support or money. We thought that it’d be great for the families to see those faces and get a different part of the community involved as well,” Prughski said.
The event will consist of a one-mile fun run and 5K. The fun run will take place within the Ogletree Village Shopping Center.
For the 5K, runners will depart from ALL IN Crossfit and travel down Ogletree Road to Old Country Road. Once they reach the halfway point, which is equipped with a water station, they will loop back to the race’s starting point.
Prughski added that vendors representing local health and wellness resources will be on site from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. One Bike Coffee is providing coffee for the runners and she said they are in the process of finalizing food donations.
“We’d love for everyone to come out and support these families. They’ve been through a lot of trauma the last few months and we want them to know that everyone cares,” Prughski said.
Those interested in participating sign up via www.runsignup.com. Registration for the fun run (8 to 8:25 a.m.) costs $15, $25 for the 5K (8:30 to 9:30 a.m.) and $50 for vendors. Prughski said day-of registration prices will increase from these original amounts.
For more information or updates, follow the “AuburnStrong 5K” Facebook event page. The shopping center is located 2272 Moores Mill Road.


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