Community members volunteer every year at the 9/11 Heroes Race to give back.

By Pauline Derry

As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the Travis Manion Foundation is honoring first responders, active-duty military, veterans and families of the fallen.

For the sixth year this September, FishHawk resident Beau Higgins is putting on the 9/11 Heroes Run at the Park Square Plaza.

Higgins is a retired Marine who was Travis Manion’s commanding officer in the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion before Manion tragically passed away while serving his country.

Since Manion’s passing, a race was created in his hometown Doylestown, Pennsylvania to raise money for the family. From there, it has grown into a foundation that puts on over 30 races nationwide.

“I am a big believer that this race is not just about raising money for 9/11,” said Beau Higgins, race director. “It is truly about bringing the FishHawk community together,” he added.

That is why, in addition to the race, there will be a OneBlood Bus available for people to donate blood and members of the nonprofit organization Seeds of Hope giving out food to the community.

Registration for both the 5K run, walk and ruck and the 1-mile fun run take place online and in person on race day. After registration, every runner will receive gift cards from local businesses in the Park Square Plaza, such as Amici’s Pizza & Pasta, Cherry’s Bar & Grill, Art Monkey and Park Square Social.

The Travis Manion Foundation has gone on to do more than put on races. The foundation puts on service projects throughout the year. One includes Character Does Matter (CDM), where veterans bring a strengths-based character curriculum into local schools.

For more information on how to donate, sponsor, volunteer or register, visit and click on the Lithia location on the map.

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