U-Haul Supports Tillman Scholars at 20th Annual Pat’s Run

Apr 16, 2024

A determined group of U-Haul® Team Members and 30,000 likeminded neighbors raced 4.2 miles to honor the life of Pat Tillman and raise money for more than 850 Tillman Scholars.

The 20th annual Pat’s Run took place April 13 in Tempe, where Tillman attended school and played football at Arizona State University.

Tillman was many things: athlete, husband, son and soldier. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tillman left his promising NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals to serve two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. On April 22, 2004, he lost his life.

Heartbroken by the loss of her husband but determined to help his spirit live on, Marie Tillman created the Pat Tillman Foundation. For 20 years, people have gathered to run, jog or walk 4.2 miles (Tillman wore jersey No. 42) in support of the foundation’s mission to invest in active-duty service members, veterans, and military spouses through academic scholarships. Tillman Scholars become leaders dedicated to serving others as lawyers, doctors, engineers and more.

Impactful Race Memories

“Participating in my first Pat’s Run was awesome,” said Leah Stewart, U-Haul Lead Quality Assurance Analyst. “I had so much fun and for such a good cause. It felt great to be out there with friends, making a difference together.”

U-Haul was founded by a WWII Navy veteran with similar values and has been a standing partner of the Pat Tillman Foundation since 2010. U-Haul contributes to the foundation in various ways, one being in-kind donations for Tillman Scholars who are moving for school, military placement, work, or other circumstances.

As a Corral Row Sponsor of Pat’s Run, U-Haul provides trucks, self-storage and moving supplies to help event coordinators with set-up and tear-down. In addition, U-Haul pays the entrance fees for all Team Members who wish to participate.

“I was told about the Pat’s Run shortly after joining the team,” said Yasmine Esparza, U-Haul Media and Public Relations Specialist. “As an avid runner and member of a veteran family, I was excited to be part of something honoring our veterans and raising money for their education. It was so kind that U-Haul paid my fees even as a new Team Member. It just reinstated why I chose to become part of this company.”

The race finish line was once again at the 42-yard line of ASU’s Sun Devil Stadium.

“As an ASU graduate, it was great to be back in the stadium,” Esparza added. “I was reminded of the courage and bravery it takes to serve our country. Although his life was tragically cut short, Pat Tillman truly made a lasting positive impact.”

“This was my first Pat’s Run,” noted Brayan Encinas, U-Haul Shipping Operations Representative. “The whole experience was awesome. It’s nice honoring a legend like Pat Tillman. The achievement and pride I felt crossing the finish line is something I will always remember.”

To read more from U-Haul about previous Pat’s Run events, click here.

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