We couldn't have done this without you!
June 19, 2017
BENEFITING: Disabled American Veterans
EVENT DATE: Jun 17, 2017
Most Saturday mornings, you’ll find Matt Dunning running the trails that crisscross the town of Cedar Falls, Iowa, logging miles in preparation for his most challenging run yet: the Bryce Canyon 50K Ultra Marathon. The race is 31 miles of rugged, dirt trails that wind through the mountains and rough terrain of Bryce Canyon State Park in Utah on June 17.
Dunning is a co-owner of Talk To Me Technologies, a company that develops speech technology for those with disabilities, including many veterans, who are unable to use their voice.
Training on the rolling hills of Iowa doesn’t quite compare to the sharp climbs Dunning will face during the Utah race (the course begins with five miles of incline at an elevation of 9,000 feet), but Dunning doesn’t let the added challenge get to him. Instead, he focuses on the reason for his upcoming run: helping disabled veterans live their lives to the fullest.
Dunning is running the Bryce Canyon 50K as an effort to raise money for Disabled American Veterans (DAV), a non-profit committed to empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. DAV ensures veterans and their families can access benefits available to them, represents veteran interests on Capitol Hill, and educates the public about the services and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life.
DAV is essential for veterans like Taylor Morris (pictured walking with Dunning), a national war hero who served in the US Navy as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal expert in Afghanistan. Morris stepped on an IED while conducting a mission in 2012, causing him to lose both legs, his left arm, and right hand. An example of strength and courage, Morris now resides with his wife in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and attends the University of Northern Iowa.
A fellow US Navy veteran himself, Dunning is a speech/language pathologist and the Chief Technology Officer at Talk To Me Technologies. The company’s cutting-edge technology enables those with communication and physical disabilities to communicate, control their lights, TV, and computers with alternate methods of access, such as eye-tracking.
Talk To Me Technologies works closely with Veterans across the country to help them tell their story, and believes in DAV’s mission of supporting veterans. Dunning is asking friends and family to donate to this fundraising effort as he takes on the Bryce Canyon 50K, in hopes of raising $5,000 to support DAV and their ongoing services. Talk To Me Technologies is backing Dunning’s efforts by kickstarting his campaign with a donation of $500.