DOVER, Del. – Ray Parker, an Air Force retiree turned coach, has been helping non-profit organizations for over 20 years. He tells us after he came home from the military, he joined a few running groups and began organizing sporting events to help raise money for different charities.
However, Parker says, he wanted more. “I started doing some events as a hobby and the demand just increasing and increasing to the point where I was more or less fortunate to get on the business side of it.” Now he and his wife, Roxann Parker tell 47 ABC, they host 50 to 60 events a year. “There’s probably not a non-profit organization in Kent County that we probably haven’t done an event for at some point in time you know,” says Ray.
We’re told through their organization, they’ve benefited the heart association, lung association, cancer and leukemia charities, and the Farm Bureau, just to name a few.
Saturday morning, runners and walkers hit the trail for a healthy start to the new year and to benefit a great cause. “It’s great to come out because today they’re donating food for Shepherds Place and the animals as well, so we brought some goodies with us to donate,” says runner, Kim Chesser.
Some runners tell us, they’ve been participating in this for years and it even helps them make lasting memories. “It’s just great to get together to do something, it’s fun to be around a lot of people that are making healthy choices and out having a good time despite everything that’s going on,” says Kim. Her daughter Emily, another runner adds, “I think the last half mile because that’s the part that really challenged me to finish so I think the last half mile was my favorite.”
Roxann says athletes come from across Delmarva to get involved in their events. “It ranges from people who just started out walking, now they’re running, they’re constantly improving their times.”
The Resolution 5K, we’re told is always a big hit to bring in the new year. The parkers say this year they’re thankful to see more faces, which brings hope for a better and healthier year. “We miss the people when we don’t have them,” says Roxann. Ray adds, “If we’ve learned anything in the last two years, we’ve learned to be flexible, we learn to work with what we have so that’s what the plan is.”
Ray also says, no matter which tri-sports event community members get involved in, they can work towards living a healthier lifestyle, all while giving back to those in need. “They want to start on a positive note, put one foot in front of the other and get moving.”
Tri-Sports’ next event will be in March, and you can find out more information on their website.