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By David Freeze
For the Salisbury Post
How about running the fastest 5K course around to benefit a mission trip? Or maybe going for a bike ride to benefit Special Olympics? Then leave some food at your mailbox for the needy in Rowan? You can do all three of those things this coming weekend.
First Presbyterian Church is hosting the Teens With a Mission 5K Run/Walk and Fun Run at 8 PM on Friday night. The races are both a part of the Friday Night Out in downtown Salisbury. The teens at the church are going to Costa Rico this summer to help build a home and will be working at the race and very appreciative of all who participate. Great looking quality dri-fit shirts go to all participants and plenty of food afterwards. Go to www.salisburyrowanrunners.org for all the info. Best thing is that there is not a hill on the course and you’ll tour historic Salisbury at its best. 5K is 3.1 miles, the most popular distance for a run or walk.
Tricia Johnson has been working hard on the TWAM races for about 6 months. She’s got some innovative things going on with one of them being engraved hammers for the overall race and age group winners. After the races, Salisbury’s shops and restaurants will be open late and there is entertainment around town too.
Piedmont Correctional Center is hosting its first Tour de’ Slammer on Saturday morning, May 12th. Captain Ken Beaver has put this all together to support Special Olympics. There is a 30 mile ride and a 14 mile Fun Ride, both beginning at 8:30 AM. They start at 1245 Camp Road. Registration is available all week and on Saturday morning. Contact Ken at BKA5K@hotmail.com for more information. Sponsors are Club Fitness and Tokyo Express.
Water and snacks will be provided on the course and there will be a restroom available near the midpoint. Mile markers and flaggers will be on the course. Lunch will be served for each rider following their completion. All riders also get a nice dri-fit shirt.
Special Olympics is supported by law enforcement officers with more than 85,000 of them helping in 35 nations. All proceeds from Tour de’ Slammer will go to help provide athletes with equipment, uniforms, training facilities, housing meals at local, area and state-level competitions. Due to successful fund-raising efforts, Special Olympics athletes are never charged a fee to participate. The funds are also used to recruit, train and certify more than 5,000 coaches.
I won’t say just how long I have known Captain Beaver, but between us we have tried just about every sport around over a lot of years. Ken knows his biking and will make sure that everyone has a good time and are kept safe on the ride courses.
The Postal Service Letter Carriers are going to deliver your mail just like they usually do on Saturday, May 12th. But this time, they are willing to pick up your mail and any donations of canned or packaged food for Main Street Mission in China Grove, Rowan Helping Ministries in Salisbury and Mt. Ulla, and the Salvation Army in Salisbury. There is a great need at this time because food and other donations are almost always less in the summer months. Once children are out of school, those who are struggling to feed the family find an even tighter situation as those extra mouths may be at home throughout the day.
Oley Parker, longtime face of the US Postal Service in China Grove asked me to mention this program. Oley has delivered mail for many years and probably knows just about everyone in town. She does lots of walking and always has a kind word for those she sees on her route. This food pickup is important to her and to the other letter carriers around Rowan County. So just leave the food in your mail box or attached to it and they will get it to the proper places. Call your local post office if you need more information.
That is three great opportunities to be involved and help out with these wonderful programs. Tricia, Ken and Oley hope you will help. I do too.

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