Early Sunday morning, Nov. 11, friends and families will gather at Shalom Park to honor United States veterans and participate in the Jewish Family Services (JFS) Friends Run.
This will be JFS’s second annual chip-timed 5K race and 1 mile fun run around Shalom Park and the Lansdowne neighborhood.
Having the Friends Run on Veterans Day weekend gave JFS a “fantastic opportunity to celebrate what the service of our U.S. veterans offers to us all as Americans,” said Jennifer Collman, JFS Board of Director, chairwoman-elect and co-chairwoman of this event with Lisa Blau.
“I’m chairing this event with (my father’s) service in my heart,” said Collman, 41. Collman’s father is a former U.S. Marine and a Vietnam veteran.
Collman’s husband Jonathan, 43, and children Hollis, 9, Everett, 7, and August, 4, will be participating in the Friends Run as a family, and Collman hopes that many others will join them.
“Here’s an event where we can all show our children the importance and impact of service to country and community, while doing something good for our bodies as well,” said Collman.
The proceeds from the Friends Run will benefit the nonprofit JFS and will enable it to help others. JFS operates to serve the Greater Charlotte community by assisting individuals, regardless of religion or socioeconomic status, who struggle with social issues, such as illness, aging, job loss, disability, and poverty.
As a former Marine Corps veteran, Corey Riddley, director of safety and security for the Foundation of Shalom Park, finds the JFS Friends Run significant for honoring veterans and for giving the community a chance to support JFS.
“Jewish Family Services will be there on race day, but they will also be there after the race for the members of our community … not just the Jewish community, but all of the Charlotte community,” said Riddley, 42.
The Friends Run is open to the public, and participants and spectators are encouraged to wear red, white, and blue.
At 7:45 a.m. in Shalom Park, 5007 Providence Road, JFS will salute our veterans. There will be a patriotic color guard presentation, poem reading and singing of the National Anthem, and Stacey Simms, host of NewsTalk 1110 WBT Charlotte’s Morning News, will emcee the event.
At 8 a.m. the 5K race will begin, and the 1 mile fun run will start at 8:30 a.m.
Post race, there will be refreshments, TCBY frozen yogurt, and chair massages. The Levine Jewish Community Center, also in Shalom Park, will be offering free day passes to participants and will be opening its pool bubble to the first 200 race participants and their families.