Team members from the RDO Equipment Co. stores in Phoenix and Chandler took part in the 15th-annual Pat’s Run charity race in Tempe in April. The proceeds from Pat’s Run go to the Pat Tillman Foundation’s Tillman Scholars program, which provides college scholarships for veterans and their spouses.
The foundation and event honor the memory of Pat Tillman, who famously stepped away from a promising career in professional football in 2002 to enlist in the U.S. Army. In 2004, while stationed with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan, Tillman was killed in action.
The Chandler and Phoenix stores sponsored the race and provided volunteers to help set up the finish line at the 42 yard-line in Sun Devil Stadium – a tribute to the Tillman’s jersey number during his football career with Arizona State University – and unfurl a banner depicting Tillman’s professional jersey number across a seven-story parking structure. Several team members also ran in the race.
“There are several reasons why RDO Equipment Co. sponsored Pat’s Run,” said Matt Freeman, Chandler Service Operations Manager. “But none are more important than the fact that our own values shine in sync with those of the Tillman Foundation.”
Matt noted how The Tillman Foundation creates opportunities for military veterans and their spouses in leadership and the commitment to service beyond themselves. The Foundation partners with Tillman Scholars through academic support, professional development, and a national networking group. The Foundation does what it says by adding up to 60 new Scholars to the community who build on Pat’s legacy and principles. And much like how RDO Equipment Co. builds customers for life through integrity, quality, commitment, and innovation, the Scholars set the stage for success in their fields of study through the same principals.
“And just like Pat did, we play to win!” Matt said. Tillman took ASU to the Rose Bowl in an undefeated 1997 season and went on to set the Arizona Cardinals’ record for most tackles in a season before putting his career and life on hold to serve his country after 9/11.
The 15th-annual Pat’s Run saw an estimated 28,000 participants and drew a crowd of more than 44,000 for the 4.2-mile race through the streets of Tempe.
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