Lincoln-Way East students participate in 5K memorial event
Thursday, September 29, 2016

Despite a week filled with Homecoming activities and events, many Lincoln-Way East Griffins still made time to participate in the 2016 Fallen Hero 5K in memory of Lincoln-Way East alum and Private First Class (PFC), Aaron Toppen.

The event took place on Saturday, September 24, 2016. The race began on 115th Street in Mokena at 8:00 a.m. An awards ceremony raffle and race refreshments followed the race.

Over 500 people participated, including many Lincoln-Way East students. Varsity Football Head Coach, Rob Zvonar, says, "It was certainly an honor for the Lincoln-Way Varsity Football program to participate in the Aaron Toppen 5K Run, as well as having his mother Pam be our Honorary Captain at the coin toss Friday night at our game against Thornton. It is extremely important for our young people to always know Aaron Toppen and what he did for them and for the United States of America. Just a few short years ago, Aaron walked the same hallways as they did at Lincoln-Way East before he made the ultimate sacrifice for his country."

Additionally, a few members from Lincoln-Way JROTC participated in color guard to honor Toppen. “As I was holding the American flag, it felt very empowering seeing the community come together to honor a local hero,” says Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Alex Kubin. “I am so proud to be from Mokena and witness how others pay tribute to our fallen hero, Aaron Toppen."