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Hometown Hero Walk Returns to Lansdale on Flag Day

Mike "Bish" Rieg, of Upper Gwynedd, has set the third annual Wounded Warrior Project fundraiser for June 14, 2014.

Mike "Bish" Rieg talks to the Lansdale public safety committee earlier this year.
Mike "Bish" Rieg talks to the Lansdale public safety committee earlier this year.
With an improved and noticeable success in two Hometown Hero Walks in Lansdale — the most recent one in June raised $46,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project — Upper Gwynedd's Mike "Bish" Rieg desired to bring the 2.5-mile walk back for a third year on a special day for America: Flag Day.
The Public Safety Committee of Lansdale Council took no time in approving Rieg's request for the third annual Hometown Hero Walk on June 14, 2014.
"I want to say thanks to all you folks," Rieg told the committee. "You guys (Lansdale Borough) have been so supportive."
The first Hometown Hero Walk in Lansdale had 650 walkers and 35 business and organization sponsorships. It raised $27,000 for Wounded Warrior Project.
This year had 1,000-plus walkers, Rieg said, and 55 sponsors.
"We raised $46,000 this year," he said.
Rieg said the walk has drawn a lot of people together.
"It's funny how things are sometimes," he said. "In our group, the PA Hero Walk, we received a huge donation. It made me think: we're out there all year around, on the road with cans (for donations), and $46,000, what's that?"
Rieg said his wife told him that what he was doing is bringing people together and getting communities involved for one cause.
"She said you're getting a lot of people involved that want to be committed, and that's a good reason to continue," he said. "So I will."
The walk, he said, is not only to raise money, but also public awareness of veterans.
"The way I look at it," he said, "we're appreciative of anybody that serves."
Rieg is, at present, searching for between 1,000 and 2,000 American flags for the walk.
"Somebody said you can get them at A.C. Moore real cheap. I'm not looking for real cheap," Rieg said. "I'm looking for free. I'm already putting my feelers out."
Rieg also wants to switch to yellow shirts for next year. Red shirts were the standard at this year's walk.  
Also, the route and start time will be the same.  
Can't make it to the walk? Just donate, Rieg said.
Rieg initially wanted the Walk earlier in the month, but Trinity Lutheran Church was not available. Trinity Lutheran acts as the start and finish in the walk, complete with refreshments.
Rieg said the Pennsylvania Hero Walk is moving its walk back a week, because organizers want Lansdale to be the send-off event.
"It'll be great. It's Flag Day," Rieg said. "We can make this into something bigger."

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