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Deputy William Mast Jr. will be remembered during the inaugural Hunter’s Heroes Memorial Run on Saturday. Watauga Democrat file photo.

Originally published: 2013-06-03 09:46:44
Last modified: 2013-06-03 09:58:06

Hunter's Heroes hosting memorial fundraisers Friday, Saturday

by Sherrie Norris

In conjunction with the inaugural Hunter's Heroes Memorial Run, in honor of fallen Deputy William Mast Jr., scheduled for Saturday, June 8, a community pasta dinner will be held the evening prior, Friday, June 7, in memory of  Peyton Elizabeth Townsend.

The dinner will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Family Life Center at Greenway Baptist Church in Boone. The menu will include spaghetti, choice of marinara or meat sauce, bread, salad, choice of a homemade dessert and drink. A silent auction will be held from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the church. Tickets are $5.50 for adults and $2.25 for children and may be purchased at the door.

Proceeds from the pasta dinner will go toward the Lilly Grace College Fund for Peyton's sister.

The deaths of Mast and Townsend deeply affected not only the entire community last year, said event spokeswoman Emily Greer, but they also had a profound affect upon the area's close-knit law enforcement family. Peyton Townsend was the 4 1/2-year-old daughter of North Carolina State Trooper Randall Townsend and his wife, Sarah.

Hunter's Heroes is a group of caring individuals who originally teamed up to show love and support to the Mast Family, said Greer, and specifically to Hunter Mast, the young son of the late Deputy Mast and his wife, Paige Mast. The group's mission is now extending into the public safety community this year to include the Townsend family.

Next year, the group will choose two new recipients for scholarship funds, said Greer.

"On July 26, 2012 family and friends, the Watauga County Sheriff's Office, and the Watauga County community as a whole, were devastated by the loss of Deputy Mast," Greer said. "That day marked the rise of a hero that will never be forgotten."

The Hunter's Heroes Memorial Run will be held on June 8.

The 5K, for walkers and runners, will begin at 9 a.m. the Sheriff's Office parking lot at 184 Hodges Gap Road in Boone and end at Boone Police Department. The 10-mile run starts at 9 a.m. at the Sheriff's Office and ends at the Blowing Rock Police Department.

Pre-registration for both events has ended. However, participants are welcomed and encouraged to register on Saturday.

For the 5K, registration fee is $30 per person or $25 for military and public safety employees.

The registration fee for the 10-mile run is $40 per person, or $35 for military and public safety employees. Identification must be presented to receive discount for both events.

Participants will receive T-shirts and goodie bags.

Proceeds from the memorial run will go to The Hunter Mast Scholarship Fund.

The 10-mile run will end with a picnic and celebration of life in memory of Deputy Mast that will include music by a local praise band and a clogging performance by Kitty's Fleet Feet. The event, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., will be held at Memorial Park on Main Street in Blowing Rock and is open to the public.

Concessions will be available (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) as well as activities for the children, including face painting, balloon animals and more.


Shuttles will be available to transport race participants back to their vehicles at the end of the run and throughout the day.

For more information, contact Emily Greer at ( or visit

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