In a show of support for law enforcement and the community, North Creek Presbyterian Church will host its 8th Annual North Creek Explorer 5K Run and Walk on Saturday, December 3. However, this year’s activities have been expanded to include community outreach and interaction with officers beyond what they have done in the past. Activities begin at 3 p.m. with the race starting at 5 p.m. from North Creek Presbyterian Church, located at 4601 NW 71st Place in Coconut Creek.
Given tensions that have recently developed around the country between some communities and the police, Gary Fallon, North Creek Presbyterian Church director of marketing, said they wanted to increase their support of the entire police force through the community outreach. They will also be holding a Police Appreciation Sunday Service on November 14 at 10:30 a.m., with the Coconut Creek chief of police, several officers and the mayor, to honor their service to the community.
The family-oriented event on December 3rd is designed to serve as a bridge between the community and the Coconut Creek Police Department. Officers will be interacting with guests on location, providing opportunities for children to see inside police cars, peek into the SWAT truck and see their many motorcycles. There will also be a K-9 Dog Demonstration, showing off the skills of their four-legged team members.
In addition to these fun activities, there will be plenty of delicious food, including grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and freshly made desserts.
All proceeds will benefit the Coconut Creek Police Explorers, which provides a means through which high school students between the ages of 14 and 19 may determine, through actual experience and training, if they would like to pursue a career in law enforcement.
Those involved in the Explorers Program develop professional leadership skills and receive training in traffic stops, arrest techniques, scenario training and tactics, which enables them to have a better idea of what officers in the field actually experience.
Officer Michael Zombek, lead advisor of the Coconut Creek Police Explorers program, said North Creek is perhaps their biggest contributor, donating about $2,500 – $3000 to the program every year. “These funds allow us to participate in state and local competitions, and though the city does contribute, we rely heavily on outside fundraising to support the program.”
“Not every student in the Explorers program enters the police force, but Zombek said, “these are great kids who give back hundreds of community service hours back to the city. Some go into law enforcement or the military and others go on to successful college careers. It is a tight knit group that becomes like family.”
What you can do
Those participating in the race will be eligible for one of the more than 125 trophies that will be awarded for the top three male and female finishers overall, masters, law enforcement officers, and a variety of age groups.
And all registered runners and walkers will receive a free post race meal and t-shirt.
Registration fees for the event are $35 in advance and $40 on race day, with a reduced fee for families. Sponsors and volunteers are also welcomed. If you would like to find out how you can get involved, or to register for the race, visit NorthCreekToday.org.