Pierpont Community and Technical College is in the top 15 percent of schools in the country when it comes to being "military friendly." One reason might be events like the annual Pierpont Veterans 5K race, which was held Thursday night in Fairmont.
The event brings the community out to run for its veterans. It also raises money for the 'Student Veteran Organization' on Pierpont's campus.
"There's a lot of veterans that come back and a lot of the older veterans really don't have any means to go to school, so this helps out." said Tom Carpenter, a runner in the race and an Army veteran.
The race began three years ago, in conjunction with Dr. Doreen Larson's inauguration as president of Pierpont.
Dr. Larson is an avid runner. Those who finished the race before she did won prizes.
"It's an honor just to be able to, everyone comes out just to say thank you to them. That's the whole purpose," said Dr. Larson. "We say thank you, we try to sweat a little bit, and get in their shoes for a few minutes."
The runners did just that. The race is mostly uphill and is said to be one of the hardest 5Ks in the state.
Scotty Treadway is a sophomore who runs cross country at Fairmont State University. He finished the 5K in first place.
"I haven't ran in forever, I figured I'd do a 5K," said Treadway. "Coach always pushes us to do the 5K around town. I figured the veterans one was a good one to do."
This was the first year they held a 'Mascot Race'. Mascots from around the area raced, including North Marion High School and the new Pierpont Lion mascot.
The Veterans Center is available for Military personnel to receive information if they need it.
"The money goes into the resources for the Student Veteran Organization and we leave it up to them to use the money. We figure they made life and death decisions for our country, they can decide what that money is best used for," said Dr. Larson.
The 5K has raised more than $10,000 for the SVO in the past three years it's been held.