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Memorial 5k event, honoring Brocton veteran, set for Aug. 1

BROCTON – The second annual memorial 5K run and fun walk, to benefit a fund established in memory of one of the first openly gay active duty service members, will be held Aug. 1 in Brocton.

The event will benefit the Darren Manzella-Lapeira Veterans Assistance Fund, which is administered by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and offers financial assistance, as well as counseling services, to local veterans in need.

Manzella-Lapeira, who was from Portland, was discharged from the Army in 2008, after nationally broadcast criticism of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy barring gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military. He died in a car accident in August 2013 in Rochester, where he lived with his husband, Javier.

The run begins at 10 a.m. Aug. 1 at Brocton Central School and ends at the J.W. Dill Post 434, American Legion. For more information, visit