(Courtesy of Public Employees Roundtable) (Courtesy of Public Employees Roundtable)

Nearly 500 people on Sunday participated in the inaugural Public Service 5K, a race to show support for government employees during Public Service Recognition Week, according to the event’s organizers.

The Public Employees Roundtable, a coalition of groups dedicated to erasing negative perceptions of government, plans to dedicate all proceeds from the race to the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund, which provides no-interest loans to federal and postal employees in need.

The organization said in a statement on Monday that the proceeds, which amounted to $15,000, will be especially helpful this year as federal employees face furloughs, a pay freeze lasting more than two years, and the prospect of increased contributions toward retirement benefits.

“The race is one way to highlight public employees and say thank you to the men and women who serve our country,” said Bill Bransford, chairman of the roundtable.

The event served as a “double dose of service” for mentors to the Teens Run DC program for at-risk youth, which fielded a team in the race, according to the roundtable.

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