Grants help kick-start and grow community programs benefiting DISD students, minorities and individuals experiencing homelessness
DALLAS – The MetroPCS® Dallas Marathon™ Health & Fitness Committee approved support of three new initiatives kicking off this month: an $18,000 grant to Back on My Feet sponsoring a new training program at the Dallas Veterans Affairs facility, a $10,000 grant to the Cigna Mayor’s Race 5K and Fun Run presented by Oncor, and a $6,000 grant to the National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA) to develop an outreach program in minority communities.
“Our mission is to further the progress of developing the health and fitness of the local Dallas community,” said Kevin Snyder, chairman of the Dallas Marathon board of trustees. “Each initiative that we chose to fund in 2012 is positioned to motivate the Dallas community to maintain healthy lifestyle choices. We are excited to see how these programs develop in years to come.”
Interested organizations applied for grants made available through the Dallas Marathon Health & Fitness Committee.
The Dallas Marathon awarded $18,000 to Back on My Feet to sponsor a new training team at the Veterans Affairs facility, which launched on Veterans Day in November. Back on My Feet is a national nonprofit that came to Dallas in February 2011 and promotes the self-sufficiency of the homeless population through running-based programs. Their newest training team is composed of veterans living in a transitional housing facility in south Dallas. The participants run together with volunteers every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:45 a.m.
“We are so grateful to the Dallas Marathon for making our fourth and newest training team a reality,” said Lea Velez, executive director for Back on My Feet Dallas-Fort Worth. “Our veterans are very much looking forward to tackling their first running milestones, one mile at a time.
Additional funds were allocated toward the Cigna Mayor’s Race 5K Presented by Oncor to further promote and enhance the runner experience. Cigna employees have also volunteered on Saturdays to participate in training runs with students at DISD’s Lorenzo De Zavala Elementary School.
The Dallas Marathon awarded a grant to the NBMA to pursue a new venture, training running coaches in an effort to develop new runner programs in minority communities. The NBMA has selected 10 individuals to enter a coaching clinic to learn how to train amateur runners. The NBMA expects the training program will eventually attract hundreds of African-Americans to meet at White Rock Lake to run together once a week.
“Our goal is to encourage as many African-Americans as possible to start running,” said NBMA executive director Tony Reed. “I’ve been a longtime participant in the Dallas Marathon and think this is a fantastic opportunity to benefit minorities in our community and also grow our partnership with the marathon.”
The MetroPCS Dallas Marathon is a flat and fast race, featuring a scenic course that highlights the best areas of Dallas including the landmark Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, designed by Santiago Calatrava. The race is Texas’ oldest running marathon and serves as a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon. Race activities occur the second weekend of December and include a two-day Health and Fitness Expo, the Cigna Mayor’s Race 5K and Fun Run presented by Oncor, the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon, Half Marathon, 5-Person Relay, and SMU Cox Corporate Relay Challenge presented by Behringer Harvard. The Dallas Marathon is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; the primary beneficiary of proceeds from race weekend is Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. For more information, visit dallasmarathon.com
About Back on My Feet
Back on My Feet is a national nonprofit organization that is dedicated to creating independence and self-sufficiency within the homeless and otherunderserved populations by first engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem. Members must run Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and must maintain a 90 percent attendance rating in order to move forward in the program and gain access to job training, employment andhousing opportunities. For more information, please visit BackonMyFeet.org
About National Black Marathoners Association
The National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to encouraging black Americans and others to pursue a healthy lifestyle through running and walking. It is open to everyone, regardless of athletic ability or previous marathon experience. The NBMA hosts an annual marathon gathering each year. Learn more at BlackMarathoners.org