The Adam’s Semper Fit Challenge and Semper Fest will be held May 5 at the Carlisle Fairgrounds to honor the nonprofits who assist veterans and military families, as well as remember the sacrifices of service members like Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller.
Schoeller, 25, a 2008 graduate of Boiling Springs High School, was one of 12 Marines on board two CH-53E helicopters that went missing during a training mission in Hawaii. After six days, the Marines called off their search and changed the status of the soldiers, including Schoeller, to deceased.
Schoeller was stationed at Kaneohe Air Base in Hawaii and was a crew chief.
Challenge organizers hope to build on the success of last year’s event by again offering a multitiered event.
“We had about 200 or so online registrants, and the day of the event we had over 100 walk-in registrations,” said Elaine Deimler, a board member of the Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller Memorial Fund. “It was raw, frigid and windy and they still came out.”
Like last year, this year’s event features a 5K in which participants may run or walk. “Pilot” awards are given to the top male and female finishers in seven age groups.
In a nod to Schoeller’s influence on people beyond the Carlisle area, the 5K is also being offered as a virtual run in which runners will receive the T-shirt and running bib for the race, but don’t travel to the fairgrounds to run.
“They run in remembrance where they are,” Deimler said.
The 5K Challenge includes 12 stations with challenges designed by Kirk Ream from Transformation Training and Fitness. Stations include activities such as a low crawl, running through tires and pulling tires up a hill. Even these stations have a connection back to the theme of remembrance.
“Each of the stations represents one of the 12 Marines that were killed,” Deimler said, referring to the helicopter crash that killed Schoeller.
Last year’s event raised about $20,000, which was disbursed to three or four national nonprofits and to 16 local organizations through the Sgt. Adam C. Schoeller Memorial Fund.
The fund was established by Schoeller’s parents, Ralph and Laurie Schoeller, after the outpouring of support they received from nonprofits that work with military families. The fund raises money through special events and then distributes it to organizations that provide direct service and support to members of the military and their families and to those that fund scholarships to students seeking a military education.
A silent auction will also be held to raise additional money for the memorial fund.
The event will also feature a nonprofit showcase that is open to organizations offering direct veteran services and services to military families.
“They decided to have this event to raise awareness of all the resources that are available for veterans and their families,” Deimler said.
There is no fee for these organizations to have a display at the event. In fact, organizations attending last year’s event were among those receiving donations from the proceeds from the event.
The River 97.3 will be on hand with a live broadcast. The band the Love Gods will perform, and the Kids Zone will feature inflatables and other activities for children. Food and beverage concessions will be open and offer a portion of their proceeds back to the memorial fund.
Organizers are looking for runners to register online by April 20 at schoellermemorialfund.org. They are also seeking corporate sponsorships and silent auction items. Information on both are available at the website as well.