MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE -- Service members and their families prepped their bodies for next week’s Thanksgiving holiday by participating in the 6th annual Run for the Turkey in Tarawa Terrace housing aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 16.
More than 140 service members and their families attended the event, including 66 new runners and 33 volunteers.
“Our mission is to show how easy it is to stay active in this community,” said Gabrielle Parish, recreations specialist with Marine Corps Community Services’ Semper Fit. “We’ve held these runs aboard base housing just to show that you can walk outside your home and participate in these local events. We’re offering service members and their families a safe environment to come together and bond.”
Marines stationed aboard base also volunteered their time to help organize and set up the event.
“Even though most of us service members aren’t originally from here, it’s very important to show we care,” said Cpl. Kylief D. Smith-Elder. “I like to think of it as it just being something good to do.”
Participants were given the option to run a three or two and a half mile course during the event.
“I enjoy organizing these events that encourage a healthy lifestyle,” said Parish. “I even see people with impairments or disabilities attend these events just because it’s a place where you can bond with the community.”
Semper Fit organizes holiday runs for the community and also other gatherings over holiday periods to encourage community spirit.
“I always meet up with friends for the fun runs,” said Patsy Schneider, recreational branch head with Semper Fit and run participant. “I feel they are a great place for families to gather with others and do something fun. I love the idea of the runs being held in Tarawa Terrace, because it shows families there are activity opportunities everywhere and they are convenient.”
The next scheduled run is the Jingle Run, Dec. 7, aboard Tarawa Terrace at 9 a.m, followed by a holiday tree lighting later on that day at 7 p.m.
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