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Put on some ‘Miles for Michael’

Then event is raising funds for widespread firearm safety education.

Michael Buck.jpeg
Michael Erickson was an avid hunter and loved the outdoors. His memory will be kept alive through the first annual Miles for Michael 5K Run/Walk.
Contributed photo
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MENAHGA — Organizers of the first annual Miles for Michael 5K Run/Walk wanted to create something positive from a very negative situation in their lives.

Michael Erickson , 17, of Menahga, died in a firearms incident in September 2020. It was an incident that severely impacted those close to Michael, including his mother, Angie, who is now working with her sister-in-law to create an event that honors her son’s life.

Organizers chose a 5K as a healthy event to bring people together and raise funds towards firearms education. While not all details are set, Erickson said she hopes the funds will be used for firearm safety education classes locally and at a week-long class held at Deep Portage. She wants to make sure that anyone looking to use a firearm has an opportunity to be well rehearsed in using them safely.

Michael Erickson.jpeg
Michael Erickson smiles following a successful goose hunt.
Contributed photo

Michael was trained in the use of firearms and loved to hunt, according his mother, who teaches fourth-grade at Verndale Public School. Goose hunting, a popular species for hunting this September, was Michael’s favorite.
“He would definitely be proud knowing this is happening in his honor,” Angie said of her son.

The 5K is set to start at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17. Online registration has ended, which allowed you to be guaranteed a shirt. Angie said participants are still welcome to attend, though they are not guaranteed a T-Shirt. Anyone can be a part of the run/walk with a free will donation towards the cause.

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The race doesn’t just take you through the city, the path leads right past Michael’s gravesite in the city cemetery. Seeing the amount of support for the event so far has been overwhelming. In early September, over 100 people had registered and many more had donated to the cause.

“It's been phenomenal,” Angie said.

Registration takes place from 9:30 -10:20 a.m. on Sept. 17, at the football field in Menahga. The race starts and ends in the Menahga High School parking lot. For more information including how to donate to the event online, visit http://runsignup.com/Race/MN/Menahga/Miles4Michael17 .

He's a writer, editor, photographer, truth seeker and promoter of the Wadena area.
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