MAPLWOOD, NJ - The Maplewood PBA (Local #44) with the help of the Maplewood Police Department's Community Service Bureau, hosted a 5k "Pets For Vets" 5K run, which was a fundraiser for Troopers Assisting Troopers, a NJ State Police organization that raises money to purchase service dogs for veterans suffering from PTSD.

The Pets for Vets run was held in Maplewood on Veterans Day, November 11, at 9 a.m. and was open to all ages.

Scott Young, a veteran with his service dog present, spoke briefly prior to that start of the race sharing his struggle with PTSD and the positive impact on his life once he received a therapy dog named Whiskey. 

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The event was primarily organized by Officer Matt Jones of the Maplewood Police Community Service Bureau. Jones explained that after a relative, who is a NJ State Trooper, told him about the organization Troopers Assisting Troopers, he felt this is something the Maplewood Police Department should do.

"I organized [the event] with the assistance of others in the Department," said Jones, and he shared the good news with the crowd that “we will have just about enough money raised to pay for a dog. These dogs, with all their training, cost $15,000.”

Mike Doherty, and member of the Board of Troopers Assisting Troops told TAPinto SOMA that this year is the 10th anniversary of the organization and that in addition to providing service dogs to vets who need one, they also help by taking a group of veterans to Sea Girt for a 3-day weekend in the fall to get them away from daily stress. He also said that some of vets who have received dogs have been hired by the training company.

Race results for the 5k are as follows (unofficial times)

The top three men finishers:

1. Michael Postaski, 13:33  

2. William Schabacker, 15:45

3. Max Huang, 16:41

The top three women finishers:

1. Sarah Schillaci, 18:16

2. Michelle Kean,  21:27

3. Katherine Erine Wilson. 22:00

Schabacker and Huang are both students at Columbia High School, and Wilson is a student at Seton Hall University.

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