BALTIMORE — An upcoming event offers a healthy way to support local youth, exercise outdoors and church fellowship. It’s the Rutherford Park 5K Run/1 Mile Walk, which will be held on Saturday, September 20, 2014, from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m.
The event is sponsored by the Liberty Community Development Corporation (LCDC), which is located at 7111 Windsor Boulevard in the Rutherford Business Park. Proceeds from the event will benefit three youth programs operated by the LCDC.
Registered participants will receive a t-shirt, water and refreshments. In addition, medals will be awarded to the top three male and female runners for each race in the following age groups: 0-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49: 50-59; and 60 and over.
“This is our second year having the walk,” said event founder and organizer Elder Dwight Parker, Sr. “We had one in 2011 that turned out great. Moving forward, we will have it each year. The main goal is to raise funds for our youth organizations. Another goal is to promote fitness in the community. Some people run and walk on a regular basis, while others do not. Hopefully, this event will jumpstart them to walk or run on a regular basis.”
Elder Parker is a member of Set the Captives Free Outreach Center, which is also located within the Rutherford Business Park in Windsor Mill. According to Elder Parker, the route for the 5K/1 Mile Run begins at the church, which is also located at 7111 Windsor Blvd.
“Through this event, we are also looking to make people aware of our organization and to fellowship,” said Elder Parker. “The event will also be very festive. This event is in conjunction with our faith-based initiative, which is a non-profit 501(c) (3), so we have to raise funds.”
He added, “These funds will be used to help support the youth involved with the Operation Timothy Rites of Passage, Virtuous Steps, and Ujima Summer Enrichment Programs. Proceeds will be used to purchase uniforms, school supplies, books, refreshments, and to support outreach activities for the youth involved in these programs.”
Founded by Elder Parker in 2009, Operation Timothy Rites of Passage is a Christian-based mentoring program that equips young men from grades six to twelve to be productive in their personal, community and work lives with the assistance of positive role models.
Virtuous Steps is a mentoring program for young women ages 12 to 18. The program seeks to help them build self-esteem, academic, and social skills.
Founded in 2011 by Dr. Karen Bethea, pastor of Set the Captives Free Outreach Center, the Ujima Summer Enrichment Program teaches youth the importance of working collectively and being responsible in their communities. The three programs seek to help young men and women reach their God-given potential.
“All of these programs are important because of the culture and time we are living in,” said Elder Parker. “There is a great need for mentorship. Many households now don’t have the presence of a father. It really does take a village to raise a child, and that is what we are expanding on. We have to give our children some outlets. This is something near and dear to my heart because I am big on family.”
He added, “We are asking everyone to come out and support this event. Participants will have a great time, exercise, and support the mission we have for our youth.”
For entry fees and sponsorship information, call 410-265-6800, extension 305, or visit: www.lcdcorp.org