COVINGTON, Ga. — Every second Saturday in September, thousands gather for the city police’s annual Fuzz Run to celebrate local officers and raise money for the Police Who Care Fund.
Because this year’s event falls on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Covington Police Sgt. Allen Martin said organizers are hoping to add a wrinkle to the 38th annual Covington Fuzz Run.
“Since the race is going to fall on the same day, we want to try and honor our first responders who were there and working on that day,” Martin said. “It doesn’t matter if they’re retired, and it really doesn’t matter if they were actually working that day, so long as they were employed during that time, we’d still love to honor them for their efforts on that tragic day and the days after.”
Saturday, Sept. 11, will mark 20 years since the devastating attacks in 2001 by Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda. Four planes were hijacked by members of the group. Two of the planes were crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. The third plane was crashed into the Pentagon. The fourth plane was reportedly crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after a struggle between passengers and hijackers. Investigators believed the plane was planned to crash into the Capitol Building or the White House in Washington, D.C.
A total of 2,977 were killed as result of the attacks, including 19 members of the terrorist group.
Martin and race organizers put out a call on the Fuzz Run’s Facebook page encouraging the public to help spread the word about their plans.
“If you are a retired New York City first responder living in the Covington/Newton County area and you were employed at your agency on 09/11/2001, PLEASE contact Sgt. Allen Martin at the Covington Police Department regarding the Covington Fuzz Run occurring September 11, 2021,” the post stated. “This request is also for surrounding jurisdictions, including New Jersey and federal agencies, in and around the New York City area that were employed during this same time.”
The public was asked to contact Martin at email@example.com to share any information on potential honorees.
This year's Covington Fuzz Run is slated for Sept. 11 with races beginning at 8 a.m. Last year’s event was limited to a virtual setting due to the pandemic; however, race organizers said 2021’s event will be in-person with a virtual option.
As always, there will be a one mile fun run, a 5K race and Mary Beth’s Red Bird Run — an event specifically for ages 5 and under named in honor of Mary Beth Malcom, who is the late daughter of Capt. Ken Malcom and Cindi Malcom.
Participants may register for the event now at covingtonfuzzrun.com.
The Fuzz Run has drawn about 3,000 runners, walkers and spectators for nearly the last 20 years. The race has won the “Best Race in Georgia” award four times, which is voted on by runners participating in the “Run and See Georgia Grand Prix Series.”
The race was initially formed in 1983 by Capt. Willie Davis, reportedly under the direction of former Chief Bobby Moody. It was started as a way to raise money for officers who were injured or families of officers killed in the line of duty through the Police Who Care Fund, which was established in 1974. Today, the fund annually contributes to nonprofits such as American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Special Olympics, YMCA, Project Renewal, Miracle League and Shop with a Cop, among others. The fund also makes a $1,000 contribution to the beneficiaries of every Georgia law enforcement officer who dies in the line of duty. The fund is also tapped to help Covington city employees when disaster strikes in their lives.
Learn more about the Covington Fuzz Run or the Police Who Care Fund at covingtonfuzzrun.com.