By Steph McNicol
MITCHELL Shire Police officers will participate in Run4Blue in remembrance of the four police killed in an Eastern Freeway crash last month.
Each year in May, police officers run, walk or wheel a distance of their choice to support Police Legacy – an organisation which commemorates fallen police officers.
To participate, officers pay a registration fee, which goes to Police Legacy, while also creating an Everyday Hero fundraising profile to explain their reason for participating.
Leading Senior Constable Lee Bova, stationed at Kilmore, is one of 10 Mitchell police officers who will fundraise in support of the four police members.
“The run we are doing is inspired by a group of people, led by First Constable Charlotte Peak and her friend, a paramedic who attended the shocking collision scene,” Sen Const Bova said.
“They decided to pledge the run to 159.485 kilometres which is the sum of the members’ registered numbers who were killed. I heard about the running tribute and knew straight away I needed to be part of it.”
All members who are participating can choose to run their 159.485 kilometres anytime over the course of the month of May.
Sen Const Bova said she would dedicate a run each week to each of the four members.
“I completed my first run on Sunday, May 3, running 27.417km dedicated to Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor. I completed it along the Tallarook Rail Trail,” she said.
On Sunday, Ms Bova ran 40.942 kilometres around Hidden Valley to Kilmore and back, in remembrance of Senior Constable Kevin King.
This Sunday and the next, Sen Const Bova will run 45.688 kilometres in memory of Constable Glen Humphris and 45.438 kilometres for Constable Josh Prestney.
Sen Const Bova said she had exceeded her fundraising goal currently sitting at more than 10 times her initial amount.
“My fundraising goal was originally set at $700. I was quietly hopeful I may exceed it and perhaps reach as high as $2000 – I reached $7000 within three days of commencing my fundraising page,” she said.
“I have been absolutely stunned and humbled by the generosity of the community towards me since I decided to commit to this running challenge.
“I have received generous donations from friends, family and total strangers, including relatives of the fallen members and other people who have been affected by road trauma in different ways.
“This tragedy really has devastated so many people, and the overwhelming feeling I have is that everyone just wants to help the grieving family members in any way they can.”
Mitchell Shire police officers participating in the run include Leading Senior Constable Lee Bova, Senior Constable Amy Voisey, First Constable Ali Keevil, Detective Senior Constable Sam Thomas, Leading Senior Constable Jase Turner, Senior Constable Demi Hall-Polious, Senior Constable Heidi Twining, Senior Constable Emma Maynard, First Constable Courtney Coghill and First Constable Dom Fabbo.
People wishing to show their support or find out more information, visit Police Legacy website at www.policelegacyvic.org.au