An Aug. 1  race honors thesacrifice of Spencer Duncan, pictured, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2001. File photo

An Aug. 1 race honors the sacrifice of Spencer Duncan, pictured, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2001. File photo

The 4th Annual Spencer C. Duncan Make It Count 5K Run/Walk will be Saturday, Aug. 1 at the New Century AirCenter in Gardner. This event, which begins at 7:30 a.m., will start and finish just north of the U.S. Army Reserve hangar, 221 Gardner Dr.
Army Specialist Spencer C. Duncan, who was from Olathe, was one of 30 U.S. servicemen who died Aug. 6, 2011 when their Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. It remains the worst single-day loss of life in the Afghan war.
Each serviceman who died in that crash will be honored on the Boulevard of the Brave along the course. In addition, photographs of each of them will be on display nearby in a Chinook.
Spencer, a graduate of Olathe South High School, was 21 years old when he died. He was the oldest son of Dale and Megan Duncan, Olathe.
Shortly after Spencer’s Death, Dale and Megan Duncan created the Spencer C. Duncan Make It Count Foundation to honor and assist veterans. The annual run/walk is the not-for-profit foundation’s primary fundraising event. The highest turnout for the event was last year, when 808 people registered.
The foundation has raised more than $165,000. Among other things, the funds have provided $500 book scholarships to 90 student veterans at Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan., and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
The words “Make It Count” were ones that Dale Duncan regularly said to his three sons. Just before Dale said goodbye to Spencer for the last time, it was Spencer who said, “I know, Dad, ‘Make It Count.’”
Dale and Megan Duncan contend that Spencer did “Make It Count” and that he still does. One of the ways he does that is through the foundation. The Duncans are determined to help other veterans “Make It Count” too.
This event always occurs on the first Saturday of August, which is near the anniversary of Spencer’s death. It will include food and drink as well as prizes and awards. Military equipment will be on display.
Online registration is available at MakeItCountToday.org. The registration fee is $25 before July 29 and $30 after that date.
Anyone who pays the $25 registration fee by July 23 receives a free T-shirt. After that date,a T-shirt will cost $10. A limited number of $10 T-shirts will be available at the event.
Registration also will be available the day of the event starting at 6 a.m.
Admission is free for veterans, who are asked to register. Veterans can buy a T-shirt for $10 when they register.
More information is available at [email protected]