By Dustin Luca
---- — ANDOVER — Around 2,000 are expected to run a road race Sunday that will help to build a new home for a disabled war veteran in Rhode Island.
But those wishing to make a bigger financial contribution to the effort can do so tonight at a dinner and auction set to the same cause.
The Run For The Troops 5K race and dinner will move into the area this weekend. The dinner and auction, at $25 a seat, will begin tonight at the Wyndham Hotel, 123 Old River Road, at 6 p.m.
The money goes towards national non-profit Homes For Our Troops, which builds custom-designed homes for veterans disabled while serving overseas. The homes are provided for free to the veterans, who reach out to the organization when their current homes are inadequate for living their drastically changed lives post-service.
The beneficiary for this year’s events is Marine Cpl. Kevin Dubois, who was injured while serving in Afghanistan’s Hemland province in 2011. While clearing a space for a helicopter to land for a medical transport, Dubois triggered an improvised explosive device and, in turn, lost both of his legs.
With his new home designed specifically for his disability, Dubois has said he hopes to start a family with his wife Kayla.
Around 1,500 runners are already registered for the race, and 400 seats were already spoken for at tonight’s dinner, said co-organizer Bill Pennington.
The race will begin Sunday with a ceremony at the Andover Townsman offices, 33 Chestnut St., at 9 a.m. Registration will run up to the starting gun.
The dinner is limited to 500 guests and is designed to be the financial draw to the effort, with the race serving to increase awareness for the organization, Pennington said.
Those wishing to register early can do so at RunForTheTroops5K.com or by visiting Century Bank, 15 Elm St., today or tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration on race day will take place at the Doherty Middle School cafeteria, 50 Bartlet St., a couple blocks from the race’s starting line.
Already registered runners can pick up their complimentary shirts and running bibs either at Century Bank during the above-mentioned hours or at Doherty Middle School on race day.