The Pudding River Ranch in Hubbard is hosting a 5K run, walk and farm party on Saturday afternoon, with the proceeds going to the Marion E. Carl Veterans Memorial in Hubbard.
The event will be held on farm property at 13324 Carl Road, the birthplace of the man being honored, who was a World War II fighter ace, test pilot and naval navigator. He was born there in 1915. The funds raised by the event help fund the maintenance of the memorial established in his honor in 2012.
For the first few years of Carl's life, his family lived in a tent on the property while they cleared the woods to build a barn and, eventually, a house.
"It was more important to keep the cows housed than the people," said Theodora Schrier, Carl's great-niece and the farm's current owner.
Carl grew up on the property, but wasn't interested in becoming a farmer himself.
"He was more interested in flying fighter jets," Schrier said. "He had a love of adrenaline."
Carl, who became one of the country's most decorated aviators, served in the military from 1938 to 1973, with all but one of those years in the Marine Corps. He was the Marines' first flying ace in World War II and later served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He also served in roles including director of Marine Corps aviation and inspector general of the Marine Corps.
He returned to Oregon upon retirement, but was murdered in 1998 during an armed robbery of his home near Roseburg. He died protecting his wife Edna from the intruder, it was reported. He is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery.
The effort to build the memorial came from community members wanting to honor veterans, especially veterans from the Hubbard community, Schrier said. The memorial, which displays a large granite pedestal, an American flag and engraved bricks, was made possible through many hours of volunteer work and was funded entirely through donations and proceeds from the sale of engraved bricks.
"It's kind of cool that so many people played a role," Schrier said. "Everyday people wanted to do their part."
A second fundraising campaign in 2014 allowed for the construction of a parking lot in front of the memorial, which enables visitors with limited mobility to access the facility.
Although Schrier said the community fundraising efforts made the memorial and parking lot possible, it became clear that there wasn't any leftover funding for the ongoing maintenance of the memorial.
That's why Linda Kleczynski, a community member instrumental in the creation of the memorial, founded the Marion E. Carl Veterans Memorial nonprofit, a 501(C)3 organization dedicated to maintaining the memorial and funding events that honor veterans in the community.
Although there's a dedicated group of volunteers that provide most of the labor for maintenance and cleaning of the memorial, there are some tasks that require funding. That includes cleaning and pressure washing the memorial and the purchase of flowers, bark dust, irrigation supplies and new flags.
Some of the engraved bricks are also starting to show some wear and need to be either repaired or replaced, Schrier said.
The nonprofit also provides funding for events like the annual Veteran's Day ceremony that takes place at the memorial. And the nonprofit made possible the inclusion of a float honoring veterans in this year's Hop Festival parade.
This weekend's farm party and 5K run is a way to honor Carl's status as a Hubbard hero and to raise money for the nonprofit.
The general admission cost is a $25 donation, and is the same price for people participating in the race and for people only interested in going to the farm party. Kids 12 and under enter free. A discounted $10 entry fee is also available for full-time students interested in running in the race.
All donations are tax-deductible.
The event starts at 3 p.m. with the untimed 5K run and walk around the farm property. "It's a very casual 5K," Schrier said.
She said attendees are invited to go at their own pace and that no matter what speed runners and walkers go, they'll enjoy the views. "It's one of the most beautiful places to run," she said. "It's all on the trail through the woods and farmland. It's quite spectacular."
At 4 p.m. a 1K walk and run for kids will begin.
And from 4 to 8 p.m., attendees can enjoy a farm party, featuring live music, beverages and food. The entry fee covers the cost of dinner, which will be a barbecue picnic prepared by the Friends of Hubbard with supplies from Voget's Meats. Local wine, beer and refreshments will be available for purchase from St. Joseph's Wine-A-Bago. And country music band The Oregon Trailers will play tunes during the party.
For more information and to sign up, go to www.purplepass.com/prr.