Brent highlights Friends of the Parks efforts

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At the Jan. 6 meeting of the Roxboro Kiwanis Club at La Piazza restaurant in uptown Roxboro, Diane Brent with Friends of the Parks spoke to the club about this 501(c)(3) organization, which is a subcommittee of the Person County Recreation Advisory Board.

Its mission is to promote use of the recreational facilities and lakes in the county by broadening recreational opportunities. Brent is also a member of the advisory board, a certified fitness instructor, and has coordinated the Couch to 5K program, which is designed to promote improved physical fitness.

She highlighted the upcoming 4th annual RoxTrot 5K on May 2. This race provides a venue for family time, since it includes a “toddler waddle” and a half-mile race for children ages 10 and under.

The 5K is a walk and run, with time winners and awards for age groups and genders. Advance registration is $20 per person, with no charge for toddlers and children.

This can be done at roxtrot5k.com or at the event itself. A Facebook promotion is also done in order to attract participants from out of the county. At this time of the year the high schools are in track competition, so some of these athletes are drawn to the event as well.

Brent noted that her goal is to encourage movement and activity in an increasingly sedentary society, in order to improve both physical and mental health. She reminded the group that a top new year’s resolution for many is to lose weight and to exercise.

Statistics show that active people are 45 percent less likely to suffer from depression, and that activity has benefits regardless of age or income. Just three days per week for 45 minutes each session is sufficient to achieve beneficial results.

Brent explained that the 5K event is inclusive and is a social activity as well, which can reduce stress and the likelihood of depression. The 5K is the primary fundraiser for Friends and the proceeds are used for free events to promote the offerings of the park system.

This includes events at Halloween and Jingle on Main each December. Friends would also like to sponsor a monthly glow-in-the-dark Capture the Flag event, in the hope of reaching the underserved teenage population.

She solicited support from the club for publicizing and participating in the RoxTrot event, which begins at the Huck Sansbury Complex on Morgan Street. Volunteers are needed for this event, to help with water stations, act as race marshals and to staff concessions and registration. All participants receive an event specific T-shirt as well.

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