2016 Program Wrap Up
“Collaboration can make a big impact in our community. It’s always where you least expect it! What do a historical theatre, a local retailer that is committed to individuals being and doing their personal best, and a local credit union have in common….The West End Walk!”
- Dave Prosser, Freedom First Credit Union
At the end of July, the West End Center in conjunction with The Grandin Theatre Foundation concluded the fourth and final WEST END WALK of the 2016 summer. Below please find some important statistics, testimonials, and photos illustrating the success of this program and its positive influence on the children of the West End Center, the West End Community, and the Grandin Village.
- Kids walked the full mile and back from WEC to the Grandin Theatre on four separate occasions for a total of 8 miles of walking, promoting healthy and active wellness activities.
- On average, roughly 90+ kids walked per event, totaling over 360+ kids walking throughout the summer program.
- Over 10 volunteers from WEC, Grandin Theatre, Fleet Feet, Freedom First Financial, Freedom First Credit Union, and Hamlar-Curtis walked with the kids each time.
- The Roanoke Police Department provided 2-5 officers to support the safety of the last two walks as they began to gain popularity and community recognition
- Hamlar-Curtis Funeral Home
- Freedom First Credit Union
- Freedom First Wealth Management
- Fleet Feet Sports
- New Balance
- Roanoke Natural Foods Coop
- Market Square Advisors
- Press Press Merch.
“It was incredibly rewarding as owners of Fleet Feet Sports to be able to give brand new New Balance shoes and Balega socks to 100 kids of the West End Center. We are fortunate to do business with great brands who also want to help to give back. All of our Training Program participants who walked with the kids thought it was very meaningful to get to know a few children at WEC and to exercise with them.”
- Robin Lewis, Fleet Feet
Take Away Lessons We’ve Learned
1. Combining exercise and wellness with arts and cultural experience make for a robust program!
2. Diversified programs such as the WEW open the door for community involvement from all three sectors of our community (public, private, and nonprofit).
3. The West End Walk served as a vehicle to utilize the bridge between the West End and Raleigh Court communities, and expose deserving children to the offerings of the Grandin Village.
4. The conspicuous nature and visibility of the walks allowed for unaffiliated community members to wave, honk, post on social media, and generally comment on how wonderful they thought the program was.
5. Additional organizations (i.e – Scratch Biscuit Company, etc.) jumped in to provide even more texture and generosity to support the kids.
6. The program gave the Roanoke Police Department an opportunity to participate in providing safety for the walkers and show their support for a community event.
“Summer Program includes new shoes for young people at Roanoke’s West End Center” – WDBJ7 - http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Summer-program-includes-new-shoes-for-...
“West End Walk Connects Kids with local law enforcement” - WSLS10 - http://wsls.com/2016/07/11/west-end-walk-connects-kids-with-local-law-en...
“The surrounding community has been an essential cornerstone to this foundation (West End Center). This year, the Grandin Theatre joined us in our efforts to empower inner city children. The West End Walks were a great way to promote wellness, cultural diversity, and inclusion for our children and all other participants. The children who participated in the West End Walk program got to experience first-hand how they are a part of a supportive community who does not just talk the talk about what they can do to improve the lives of disadvantaged children, they walk the walk – literally.”
- Joy Parrish, Executive Director, West End Center for Youth