It started with one soldier and one objective: to raise awareness.
Patriot Challenge began more than ten years ago when Army Ranger Cory Smith ran 565 miles from Fort Benning, Georgia, to his home in Indianapolis, Indiana, with the intent to bring awareness to the transitioning difficulties many service members face.
Cory sought to be the physical embodiment of challenges facing transitioning service members as they enter civilian life. Moved by Cory’s determination to raise awareness, GallantFew established the awareness and fitness event Run Ranger Run, now Patriot Challenge.
GallantFew’s Patriot Challenge is a nationwide tribute to Cory’s inspirational advocacy. Each February, the military community links arms with civilian patriots across America in honor of Cory’s commitment to ONE mission – to support and raise funds so that any veteran or service member can receive one-on-one mentorship to live a life full of hope and purpose. It is our belief that a veteran with a purpose strengthens a nation and that a successful transition and reintegration require community engagement.
Features of Patriot Challenge
Activity: Patriot Challenge reaches ALL patriots with all types of physical activity as participation credit. Run, walk, bike, climb, skate or lift – if you can move, you can be a PATRIOT!
Service: For 2023, we’re expanding participation activities to include our VetSTAR Fitness areas: emotional, spiritual, physical, professional, and social fitness. These are the areas we focus on when providing services to our military, and we want participants to get a taste of how we serve.
Fundraising: Through the Patriot Program Incentive, GallantFew models what it means to “Connect America to her veterans” by sharing more than $63,000 of the funds raised for two years in a row! Participants can raise funds for GallantFew’s mission or in support of a military-serving initiative of their choosing.
Inclusivity: Anyone can participate as an individual or on a team! Teams are not limited in size – everyone can be a patriot.
As always, EVERY penny raised for GallantFew directly supports the world-class transition and reintegration services GallantFew provides to our veteran community. Patriot Challenge is the means to our cause: serving our nation’s heroes.
We know that relationships are more important than programs. Through the Patriot Program Incentive (PPI), we’re able to build relationships with other like-minded organizations.
Qualifying teams can use Patriot Challenge as a way to give back to GallantFew AND their cherished national or local military-affiliated organizations that mirror GallantFew’s mission of providing hope and purpose. We know we cannot serve the community without other organizations – service is a team effort.
How to participate:
Register for Patriot Challenge! During registration, enter the name of your chosen local military-affiliated organization. The deadline for PPI organization requests is January 15, 2023.
Create a team of 10 or more people. We encourage you to post photos of your activity on social media using the hashtags #patriotchallenge and #gallantfew
Collectively log at least 565 “miles” as a team
Fundraise $1,000 or more
When your team meets these goals, all proceeds are split with GallantFew and your approved organization 50/50 after the initial $1,000 raised. Proceeds will be the amount after Stripe processing fees are subtracted.
Make an impact!
*Fundraising will be counted through March 31, 2022, for donations that are delayed or awaiting arrival.*
Patriot Challenge 2023 Chairpersons
Olaf & Paola Kilthau
Olaf and Paola Kilthau come to us from sunny California! They love being active, exploring nature, and adventuring in this thing called life. This dynamic duo is no stranger to living a life of service. Olaf is a U.S. Army veteran, serving on both active duty and as a part of the reserves. Olaf & Paola’s son now walks in the footsteps of his father and is proudly serving our country.
Olaf and Paola have been active in the GallantFew community for several years, attending our leader chats in 2020, helping to connect the veteran community, and actively participating in Patriot Challenge.
Olaf and Paola love to share the mission of GallantFew with their local community. They saw an increase in support from their community during their Patriot Challenge journey last year, which motivated them to reach further this year with their efforts and accept our invitation to be the Chairpersons!
We’re inspired by the Kilthaus’ commitment to a life of service. When they aren’t sharing the mission of GallantFew with their friends and neighbors, you can find them serving others within their community through the Professional Member Development Committee for the local Board of Realtors, where Olaf serves as a Director for the Board of Directors. Olaf and Paola don’t have to travel far and wide to make an impact in their own backyard – the just make the effort.