Youth-focused charities to benefit from One City Marathon

Reema Amin
Contact Reporterejhammond@dailypress.com

Proceeds from this year's One City Marathon will benefit three charities that support youth development and fight violence against children.

Alternatives Inc., The Center for Child and Family Services and Parents Against Bullying were chosen from a pool of organizations that applied to receive the money. Former City Manager Jim Bourey said recently that at least 20 organizations applied for money.

The city chose groups with proposals that best demonstrated how to "make a difference in youths' lives," Bourey said last week. But they also focused on charities that could really use the money.

The Center for Child and Family Services has received $18,500 from the city's community support fund since at least fiscal year 2015.

That city fund provides grant money to nonprofit agencies that provide easily accessible services to Newport News residents, said Lisa Cipriano, the city's budget director. It also complements city services, she said.

Last year, charities received $21,645, which was divided among Fear 2 Freedom, Transitions Family Violence Services and The Center for Sexual Assault Survivors — all charities that focus on helping victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

About the charities

The Center for Child and Family Services offers programs and services that "empower people to face life's challenges," said Michael Edmonds, executive director.

The center has 18 programs and more than 50 counseling services for a range of topics that include debt, housing, budget and financial education counseling, mental health, trauma, domestic violence intervention counseling and a variety of youth-focused programs, Edmonds said.

Last year, the group worked with about 4,600 clients, Edmonds said. About 40 percent of those clients are from Newport News, he said.

The center will use the marathon donation to support and raise awareness about its youth programs, which include anger management, gang intervention and substance abuse counseling.

Alternatives Inc., founded in 1973, works with local school systems, governments and other community groups to provide in-school and after-school programs for kids and their families, said Ragen Johnson, program coordinator for the group. Its mission is to focus on social and emotional development.

The group offers free enrichment, civic engagement and early childhood programs. Through a partnership with AmeriCorps, mentors go into classrooms during the day and help teachers or work in small groups with the kids. Children can also participate in a variety of after-school programs that focus on topics such as mindfulness, drawing and creativity, and maintaining healthy friendships and relationships. Alternatives also offers parenting classes.

Alternatives will use the money to continue supporting its programs, Johnson said.

Parents Against Bullying works with youth and their families to spread awareness of the importance of anti-bullying, CEO Shant'a Miller-Synaker said.

The group works with school divisions, Girls and Boys Club, law enforcement and other organizations that outreach to youth to provide information and mentoring about bullying and how to combat its effects.

For several years, Parents Against Bullying has partnered with Mayor McKinley Price's Initiative Against Bullying for the annual Thousand Youth March, one of several annual events the group participates in, Miller-Synaker said.

Parents Against Bullying plans to use the marathon donation to continue its work to teach kids they're "STARs" — successful and smart, terrific and talented, amazing and awesome and refuse to be bullied or put down — Miller-Synaker said.

Amin can be reached by phone at 757-247-4890; Hammond can be reached at 757-247-4951.

One City Marathon

What: Marathon, marathon relay, Maritime 8K race and Nautical Mile fun run.

When: 7 a.m. start time Sunday for the marathon and marathon relay; 7:30 a.m. start for Maritime 8K; 10 a.m. start for the Nautical Mile.

Where: Marathon route starts at Newport News Park and heads south along Warwick Boulevard and through side neighborhoods, passes through Christopher Newport University, the Mariners' Museum Park, Hilton Village, Huntington Park and downtown, and ends at Victory Landing Park.

Parking: More than 4,000 parking spaces reserved downtown. Check onecitymarathon.com for more information.

RELATED EVENTS

Friday: One City Health & Wellness Expo 12-7 p.m. at Denbigh Community Center, 15198 Warwick Blvd., Newport News.

Saturday: One City Health & Wellness Expo at Denbigh Community Center, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Family Fit & Fun Day at Brooks Crossing, noon-3 p.m.; Pre-Race Pasta Dinner at the Marriott at City Center, 6 p.m.

Sunday: One City One Celebration at Victory Landing Park, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

FOLLOW US

Our staff will have you covered for the marathon — whether you're a runner or a spectator. Visit dailypress.com/onecitymarathon for complete coverage.

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Follow our marathon coverage team on Twitter: Reema Amin (@reemadamin), Kate Yanchulis (@KYanchulis), Natalie Joseph (@heynatjo), Marty O'Brien (@MartyOBrienDP) and @Daily_Press @DP_Sports @visualDP.

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