Help raise awareness for PTSD, and money for the FPD K9 Unit and Special Olympics in this Cross Fit-style event.
This Sunday, April 29, the Fairfield University parking garage will be transformed into a gym for the First Annual Jake Pettit Garage Grunt Challenge. Featuring a Cross Fit-style course – specially designed for all fitness levels – the day will raise money for the Fairfield Police Department K9 Unit and the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Connecticut.
Same-day registration is available: You can still sign up at the event this Sunday. Registration is $75 for a team of two people. The event is from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Teams consist of coed or same sex divisions with RX and scaled options.
The event idea was a brainchild between Fairfield University Department of Public Safety Sergeant, Rob Didato, and Fairfield Police Department K9 Sergeant, Hector Irizarry. In October 2016, former Marine Jake Pettit lost his life to PTSD. Sgt. Irizarry was one of the first on the scene and, being a former war veteran himself, plus having three sons who served in three different branches of the military – one of whom suffers from PTSD and was in the same province as Pettit – he couldn’t help but think of his sons.
Sgt. Irizarry wanted to be sure to honor Pettit’s legacy and continue to raise awareness for PTSD. He named the K9 dog Jake, but maintaining a Unit in a police department is not inexpensive. Aside from the obvious costs like food and vet bills, police vehicles need to be specially outfitted and Units have to have special equipment. Annual costs can run upwards of $20,000 a year, and that is on top of the initial purchase price of close to $15,000.
Despite the costs, Sgt. Irizarry is committed to keeping Fairfield safe, and knows K9 Jake is a key reason the FPD can maintain the safety of the community.
“K9 Jake provides a level of safety and protection our community expects from its police organization, all while helping to promote the PTSD Awareness message," he said.
Said DPS Sgt. Didato: “This event is another example of how two professional organizations come together to support the community they share and serve. Maintaining a strong relationship with Fairfield PD is very important for the University.”