Run for the Wall visits Marana

Motorcyclists participating in the annual Run for the Wall visited Marana on My 16.

Motorcyclists participating in the annual Run for the Wall visited Marana on My 16.

On Thursday, May 16, there was more morning traffic than usual at the Marana Road Exit. Six-hundred and eighteen motorcycles, to be exact! Their purpose? A brief pitstop on their way across the country.
Their final destination? The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC as part of the "Run for the Wall". Every May, motorcyclists ride together to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to honor those that have passed, welcome home the participating veterans and provide an opportunity for reflection.

Marana Road exit is one of the annual stops for the riders, and businesses in Marana welcomed the motorists with signs, parking areas (while all 618 where getting fueled up), and gas donations from Circle K. There were many honks during these 2 hours as onlookers waved and gave thumbs up as they passed, and a number of families came out to support the bikers.

This event is the largest and longest organized cross-country motorcycle run in the world, and has participants from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and more.

This year, the ride started on May 15 and they will reach Washington D.C. on May 24. There are four different routes crossing the country in different regions. The southern route began in Ontario, California and made a pit stop in Marana on Thursday morning.

While in Marana, there was a brief ceremony with the Golder Ranch Fire Fighters Pipes and Drums Local 3832 playing and presenting colors, local school children performing the Pledge of Allegiance, and Amber Simons O’Neill singing a version of  Hallelujah.

One of the pillars of the Run to the Wall is to always strive for safety, and they accomplish this by working with local public safety officers to ensure safety for participants, traffic, sightseers, and other stake holders. Marana Police Department and Northwest Fire were a couple safety agencies present.  

To view their live progress through GPS Signal visit here:

Local stakeholders form "Marana Momentum Alliance" to better serve the community

MARANA - Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Marana Schools 2340 Foundation, MHC Healthcare, and Town of Marana have combined resources to better serve the community as the "Marana Momentum Alliance."

The alliance's mission is to empower everyone to maximize their opportunities and manage their futures by providing resources for career and education, health and wellness, and veteran and senior services.

The Marana Momentum Alliance brings together the unique strengths and talents of each partner organization to increase the beneficial power of their efforts through a series of one-stop shop events. The first event is scheduled for September 22 and will focus on career and eduction resources. The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona currently serves as the lead organization for the event with support from its partners. 

“The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is thrilled to be a part of this important alliance through the Marana Resource Center," said Marana Resource Center Executive Director Linda Hampton. "We believe that lasting solutions to poverty will not be found in just a bag of food.  Working alongside our partners, we can grow the impact of our efforts and do more to assist those in our community who need us the most.”

The role of lead organization for each event will rotate through the alliance. MHC Healthcare will serve as lead for the Health and Wellness event scheduled for Spring 2019. 

“MHC Healthcare is excited and honored to be a partner of the Marana Momentum Alliance," said MHC Healthcare CEO Dr. Clint Kuntz. "We look forward to working with Marana Unified School District, Town of Marana and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona to bring worthwhile events that will provide timely, helpful resources. We are here for you and plan to help attendees fill their “Life Tool Box” with useful materials focused on improving your health and overall well-being.” 

The third event will be in the fall of 2019 and will focus on senior and veteran services. Event logistics will be led by the Town of Marana. 

"At the Town of Marana, we hear almost daily from residents in need," said Town of Marana Community and Neighborhood Services Director Lisa Shafer.  "It is so important that we work with other agencies to provide the support and services these residents need to build a successful future.  By forming the Marana Momentum Alliance, I think we are on our way to providing something pretty incredible for the greater Marana area."

Marana Schools' 2340 Foundation and Marana Unified School District also play a large role in the alliance, acknowledging the importance of providing resources to the younger generation and their families.

"The Marana Unified School District and the Marana Schools’ 2340 Foundation observe the challenges many of our students and their families must overcome every day. The Marana Momentum Alliance brings together resources to provide a helping hand to those with critical needs or a pathway to succeed." said Marana Unified School District Superintendent Doug Wilson.  

The Marana Momentum Alliance is now accepting vendors for upcoming events. Donations, volunteers, and sponsorships are also being solicited. Those who are interested in participating can learn more here.

KVOA: Unclaimed remains of veterans laid to rest in Marana

KVOA provided a story on a special ceremony at Marana's Veteran's Cemetery. 

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The unclaimed remains of 29 U.S. Veterans were laid to rest on Saturday during a special ceremony in Marana. The ceremony is part of an annual effort led by the Veterans Recovery Program that works to make sure unclaimed remains are identified and properly interred.

"We have veterans that have cremated remains that have been sitting on shelves for years," said Veteran Paul Marsh.

Marsh has been part of the effort to get the Veteran Cemetery in Marana. 

The 29 veterans that were honored on Saturday may have never been identified had it not been for the Veterans Recovery Program.

"They deserve as good of treatment as we can give them as veterans. We do this type of thing twice a year to take good care of our veterans who don't have anybody to take care of them," said Marsh.

Read the rest of the story on KVOA's website. 

12 News in Phoenix also ran a story on the ceremony


Press Release: Dedication of the Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery

The public is invited to the Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery dedication ceremony on Saturday, March 26th at 10:00 A.M. located at 15950 N. Luckett Road.

The dedication will be coordinated by the Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery Foundation Inc. Marana, a non-profit dedicated to raising and providing funds for the facility.

“The cemetery will be a tremendous asset, not only for Marana, but the entire Southern Arizona region,” said Mayor Ed Honea at the ground breaking ceremony in November 2015. “We need to do as much as we can to honor and respect our veterans.”

The Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Marana will serve as a place of refuge and peace, providing emotional comfort to the families of veterans buried there. The 42 acres of land were donated by the Kai Family Foundation of Marana, and will contain pre-placed crypts as well as columbarium niches.


News Release: Town Council Passes Resolution Supporting Fisher House

On Tuesday, October 20, the Marana Town Council approved a resolution in support of the Arizona Fisher House to be located on the campus of the Southern Arizona VA Health Care Center in Tucson.  This facility will provide free housing for families of active military and veterans who are undergoing treatment provided by the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System at the Tucson VA hospital or area facilities.  As a Purple Heart Town, Marana firmly supports all efforts that support our veteran community.

There are 65 Fisher Houses located on 24 military installations and 24 VA medical centers across the United States, Germany, and England. Tucson will be home to the 66th Fisher House.  By recognizing that “a family’s love is good medicine,” the Fisher House network unites relatives as they gather in a time of need.  By removing the stress of finding a place to stay, Fisher Houses everywhere seek to ease the already heavy burden borne by military and veteran families.  Since its inception in 1991, the Fisher House community has saved families an estimated $282 million in out-of-pocket lodging and transportation expenses. In 2014 alone over 25,000 families were served.

In 2011, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs approved the Southern Arizona VA as the site for the newest Fisher House.  Construction is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2015 and hosting guests in early 2016.  When it opens its doors, it will offer 16 fully furnished suites to visitors, along with a large shared kitchen, laundry facility, and communal living space.

“The Marana Town Council is deeply committed to its veteran community,” says Town Manager Gilbert Davidson.  “With the new veterans cemetery to be completed next year, along with the Town’s Purple Heart designation, we are eager to support any effort that helps improves the lives of veterans.” 

In 2013 alone, the Southern Arizona VA in Tucson served over 2,000 veterans with families living outside Tucson.  Soon, those families will be able to stay nearby, rather than having to find a hotel or travel a long distance for a brief visit.  Marana is a proud supporter of this project and is pleased that the Southern Arizona VA will soon be able to offer this amenity. The Friends of Arizona Fisher House Foundation will continue supporting families by providing food, local transportation and other necessities for the families and needs of the house itself. For more information on how to help, please visit