Matthew J. England Memorial 5K will be held Dec. 8, thanks to dedicated volunteers

Matthew J. England

When Doug Hawkins read last week’s Ozark County Times and saw that the Matthew J. England Memorial 5K run/walk had been cancelled because Matthew’s mom, Pamela Hengen, who has organized the event for the past five years, was having health problems, he immediately sent a screenshot of the story and a message to his friend David Murphy. “This isn’t acceptable,” Doug wrote.

“Let’s talk tomorrow,” David replied. “We can make it happen.”

In the meantime, Sherry Uchtman said she’d like to help and contacted Pam Hengen to get her blessing for the group to go ahead with the event. 

“I’m just amazed that they’re doing this,” Pam told the Times. “I appreciate it so much. “

The run/walk event, normally held the Saturday before Veterans Day, is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, the same day as the Gainesville Christmas parade, which will make it convenient for participants to stay and enjoyed the day’s festivities around the square. 

Proceeds from the race go to fund the PFC Matthew J. England Memorial Scholarship fund established in memory of the Ozark County soldier who was killed in action on June 8, 2011, in Iraq when the vehicle he was driving struck an improvised explosive device. He was 22.

“Matthew was one of our own,” Doug said. “His mom is too. We need people to come out for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do.”

Registration forms are available at Shelter Insurance or the Ozark County Times office, both in Gainesville.

 If you’re unable to come to the event, donations to the scholarship fund are welcome and needed and may be made through the website or by making checks payable to the Matthew J. England Memorial Scholarship Fund and mailing to the Ozark County Times, P.O. Box 188, Gainesville, MO 65655.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423