Loops for Troops
Third Annual Loops for Troops Run a Success
By Jillian Driessen
Over 800 participants and several hundred volunteers came out to take part in this years annual Loops For Troops Run. Although the final total of funds raised hasn't been tallied, organizers say a considerable amount of funds were raised to help military families again this year.
Loops For Troops was created by Michael Hornburg and and a close family friend, Sarah Leishman, following the death of Michael Hornburg’s son, Cpl. Nathan Hornburg in Afghanistan in 2007. Sarah, a running instructor, approached Michael about the idea of organizing a charity run in Nathan’s honor and thinking it a great idea, Michael agreed to head the project.
Organizers decided the run date should be on Father’s day in honour of Nathan's birthday. The first run was held three years ago and considered a great success: with nearly 1500 participants raising $135,000. The run also takes place in Edmonton and Kandahar at KAF annually.
This year more than 300 participated at KAF. Loops for Troops also features a “running in spirit category” for those who would like to participate but cannot run or be on location. Michael is one of the participants in this category along with his son Nathan.
“I always pay for Nathan and myself in this category since I want Nathan to be there with me and no one will let me leave the stage area to go out on the course," explains Michael. "I have to be the one to stand up front and take all the blame if there is a problem. Fortunately, Nathan has my back and nothing but good things have occurred so far.”
In the first year, Michael reached out to several organizations to help support the run, including the local Military Family Resource Centre and the Area Support Unit Commanding Officer Major Mark Gibbs, who provided a venue for Loops For Troops. He cites Nathan’s Regiment (Lord Strathcona’s Horse—Edmonton) as a major supporter of the run. For this year’s run they supplied a Coyote Reconnaissance Vehicle and renamed an Armoured Recovery Vehicle “Hornburg” in Nathan’s honour.
The ARV that Nathan drove in Afghanistan has also been renamed “Calgary” in Nathan’s honour.
Funds raised by Loops for Troops have been donated to General Hillier’s Military Family Fund, and over 15 monuments and programs. Loops for Troops has also partnered with the Royal Alberta United Services Institute, their official charity.
For more information on this year’s run, past runs, future runs and how to get involved, check out www.loopsfortroops.ca.