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Grace Presbyterian Village residents Billy Bates, Jeanne Werner, Sue Young and Warren Rutledge at the inaugural Rock the Cliff 5K.To show their support for the vibrant and growing community around them, seven residents and nine staff members at Grace Presbyterian Village laced up their tennis shoes to participate in the first ever “Rock the Cliff 5K” at Lake Cliff Park, an event the senior living community also sponsored. The race and one mile “fun run” gave residents and staff members a chance to challenge themselves physically while enjoying time together to support an important cause. Proceeds from the race will help create scholarships for Oak Cliff area high school students. Many of the residents and staff members used the expansive fitness center at the community to prepare for the event, and one resident credits her recent physical therapy at Grace Presbyterian Village for giving her the ability to participate.   

 “The physical therapists at Grace did a great job at getting me up and around,” said Ora Irby, Grace Presbyterian Village resident.  “My surgeon was very pleased with my progress and cleared me to walk the one mile race, just six months after breaking my right hip. I challenged myself to participate, and I was very happy that I completed my goal.”

 The race meant a lot to Irby since she moved to Oak Cliff as a child and graduated from Sunset High School. Her husband and three children also got their diplomas from the school. Irby had never walked in a 5K or race before, and while she was tired at the end of her mile walk, she felt accomplished that she completed the race successfully. Her broken hip was a distant memory as she crossed the finish line with the other residents and staff.

 Lisa McClendon, wellness manager at Grace Presbyterian Village, helped coordinate the participation of the residents and staff. She and her family also did the one mile “fun run” as a way to promote physical activity while having fun outdoors.

 “One of my top priorities as a parent is to make sure that my children grow up in an environment that supports health and well-being,” McClendon said. “That’s why we’ll be running the one-mile fun run on Saturday instead of watching cartoons. My kids were really excited about “Rock the Cliff” and seeing our residents take on this challenge is also inspiring to all of us.”

 Sponsoring this race was important to not only the community, but also the residents. Many grew up in the Oak Cliff area, and they are excited to see new generations taking pride in the district. This inaugural 5K event was created to focus on the growing music scene in the area and local DJs entertained runners as they completed the course. Proceeds from the race will help create scholarships for Oak Cliff area high school students. The staff and residents were eager to support this endeavor and they enjoyed the opportunity to help local students and families.