Monday, June 13, 2011

Things I Like: The Irwin Belk Educational Foundation

Irwin Belk Track At Fetzer Field
If you're a fan of track and field, I would advise the next time you need to buy a suit, a pair of dress shoes or a pair of jeans, to head over to Belk. Like any department store you will see at the mall, Belk has nice things, but it's what is done with their charities, namely the Irwin Belk Educational Foundation, that has helped many runners in the Carolinas enjoy a good speed workout, a PR or even a chance to attend college on a track scholarship.

Irwin "Ike" Belk attended and ran track for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then went on to become the president of the Belk Corporation before retiring in 1996 to focus his efforts on his foundation, while being appointed a U.S. delegate to the 54th United Nations General Assembly (in 1999). According to WikiRun, Mr. Belk's foundation has donated money to help construct 29 tracks in and out of the Carolinas from middle schools (Alexander Graham Middle in Charlotte) to many universities (UNC, UNC Prembroke, Davidson, High Point UniversityJohnson C. Smith, NC A&T, UNC Charlotte, Furman, Winthrop, etc). And these aren't any dirt tracks or cheap asphalt jobs!

It's people like Mr. Belk that help our sport flourish, so keep that in mind the next time you need a new tie! And take a look at the name of whatever track you are running on the next time you are doing intervals. If you're in the Carolinas, there's a good chance you'll see the Belk name!

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