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Moms take community service in stride

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Erika Westmoreland and Michelle Sedas started an organization called Running Moms Rock to “inspire moms to live passionately and fearlessly while improving themselves, their families, and their communities in the process.”

The organization will hold its first event, a 5K Run/Walk on April 24 at The Shops at Highland Village, to benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center of Denton County.

Westmoreland said she and Sedas decided to start Running Mom’s Rock after the two took part in a 10K race last year and felt inspired to promote health and physical fitness among mothers, while also giving back to their communities.

“I left my headphones at home and spent my race taking in the sights – observing mothers jogging with their strollers, listening to fellow runners cheering each other on, and seeing motivational slogans on the backs of t-shirts,” Westmoreland said. “During this period in my life, I felt that I wasn’t living with much passion. After the race, Michelle and I had a meaningful conversation about the joys of running and motherhood and giving back to community, and as the ideas began to fly and the excitement began to build, we knew we had hit on something worthwhile.”

Sedas said she and Westmoreland chose the Children’s Advocacy Center of Denton County as the recipient of the funds raised from the 5K because of the work the non-profit does.

“As moms, we have a special place in our hearts for children in need,” Sedas said. “CACDC’s mission is ‘to provide justice and healing for abused children through interagency collaboration.’ With professionalism and compassion, this local organization provides free services to children and families affected by abuse, and is grateful for each and every dollar donated.

“After touring the facility and meeting the staff, we knew this non-profit was one truly worthy of our resources.”

Westmoreland has lived in Highland Village for 33 years and was a member of a Marcus High School cross-country team that finished third at state back in the 1990’s. She is married with three children.

Sedas is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where she was a member of the school’s racquetball team, and is also a published author, with three books to her credit. She is married with two children.

Westmoreland said she and Sedas are hoping for a turnout of about 250 people at the 5K, but added, while they certainly want as many people to participate as possible, that is not how they will determine whether the event is successful.

“Michelle and I told ourselves when we first started this, we don’t care if there are 20 or 2,000 people who participate,” Westmoreland said. “As long as we can get some exposure for the Children’s Advocacy Center, we will feel successful.” 

Sedas said people can help support the charity event in a couple of different ways.

“First and foremost, it would be to participate in the 5K race by either competing as a walker or runner, or by volunteering to help us out on race day,” Sedas said. “Not only will this be a great family-friendly activity, but our race benefits an outstanding charity.

“Second, businesses can donate items for our raffle, which will be held at the end of the race. Third, people can make tax deductible donations to Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County.”
The Run/Walk is open to men, women and children.

Visit www.runningmomsrock.com for contact information or to learn more about the event.

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