Brent & Erin Barry Raise Awareness, Funds For Abused Children
The Blue Ribbon Assist Program benefits children under Child Protective Services.
“I think it’s important to be active in the community that you play in,” said Brent, the honorary chairman of the Blue Ribbon Task Force. “There are a lot of guys (in the NBA) who do a lot of charity work that goes outside the community and even to a national level. I don’t want to diminish the importance of that work, but I think the great thing about the Spurs is that they give directly back to the community that supports them.”
Brent and Erin remain active in community organizations fighting child abuse. Erin sit on the Bexar County Child Welfare Board.
“San Antonio has a child abuse problem,” Erin admits. “I think everyone needs to be aware of the problem. I’ve been active in [child abuse prevention] for seven years now in every city we’ve been in. As long as Brent and I are here, we want to try and make a difference in as many children’s lives as possible.”
Participants received a commemorative race t-shirt and a ticket to an upcoming Spurs game. Like most road races, participants competed in their different age groups, with awards going to the top finishers in each division.
Brent, who had a game the night before, chose to sit this one out, but it didn’t stop him from addressing the crowd before the race.
“It’s great that all of you came out today,” he said to the runners. “What’s awesome is that it’s a great cause for kids, and it’s nice to see kids supporting kids here today…so many families…kids participating…parents…grandparents! Thank you all for coming out!”
Roughly 850 runners came out to show their support for the Blue Ribbon Assist Program and for the Spurs Foundation. Over $5,000 was raised to support the program, which is up from last year, both in participants, and funds raised.
Along with Brent and Erin Barry, The Coyote and some of the Silver Dancers were on hand for pictures and autographs and to cheer the runners on. Fans also got to see a bit of Brent’s sense of humor as he addressed the crowd.
“I’ve taken some really interesting pictures here before the race,” he joked. “People, we need to learn to operate those digital cameras…leaving them “On” would be a good start! And I’ve noticed we have, what looks like, some serious runners here today. I’ve seen some lime-green shoes…some really bad tanks tops…so lets get this thing going!”
Randy Reyna, one of the most elite runners in San Antonio’s history, won the event for the men. Jody Hawkins, 39, was the first female finisher. Unlike her husband, Erin Barry took to the course, finishing in the middle of the pack.
“I’m so happy with the turnout today,” Erin said. “It’s important to me. We’ve been so blessed to have such good lives. To sit in your nice home, and have your nice job, and ignore the suffering that’s going on around you…you can’t enjoy the things you have if you don’t help those that are less fortunate.
“For me to be able to use the blessings that I have to help other kids who are less fortunate and other families that have such problems…it really feels good. I feel like I am able to share our good fortune with others.”