A Race With Lasting Impact - A Participant's Story

Anthony McCauliff is a dear friend of the West Nashville Dream Center. We first met him when he was next door at Safe Harbor mens transition home. Anthony has volunteered for us in numerous capacities and was a part of our first 5K in 2015, which was his first competitive race.He recently moved back home to help his family during some trying times, but our Volunteer Director, Miranda Telford, got to catch up with our old friend about how the West Nashville Dream Center 5K had lasting impact on his life.This is Anthony's West Nashville Dream Center Story.17265002_10210914292706431_7903113685338807742_nM:  How did you get involved with the Dream Center?A:  I found the West Nashville Dream Center at Safe Harbor. The Dream Center was having a block party and I was able to come and be a part of that. Meeting new people and serving the kids was just something really fun and positive for me to do. M: What about that experience made you come back?A: I felt so welcome and I really enjoyed being surrounded by people that truly cared.M: Tell me about where you were at that point in your life?A: I wasn’t in a positive place. I was going through a really rough time and coming over to the Dream Center gave me such an amazing feeling and put me in such a great positive place and that is something that I really needed at the time. M: Ok, so what got you into running, because it's a huge part of your life?A: My entire family ran and had been involved in track. I didn’t start running until I got out of the Army, especially not in any races, I just never had the desire to do that. The Dream Center 5K was the first race I ever did, and it was so exciting and thrilling for me. I loved it so much that I ran the loop twice! This was a defining moment for me because I found something that I really enjoyed and I kept doing it. Now I am a pacer for a race company and I owe it all to the Dream Center for helping me find this passion.On that second loop at our 2015 5K, Anthony ran with a sweet mom from our neighborhood, Divina, also a cancer survivor, cheering her on and helping her finish the race. One of our favorite memories so far. Picture below:image1M: What would you tell someone to encourage them to be a part of our 5K?A: Just being there is such a great experience, whether you are blowing up balloons, or setting up checkpoints, it's just really special to be a part of and who knows, you might be like me and find that running is something you really enjoy and want to keep up! If it weren’t for the Dream Center, I never would’ve gotten into competitive racing. Anyone can participate in this race! Walkers, runners, it doesn’t matter, we all come together as a community and encourage each other to finish. M: How easy was it to participate?A: It was really easy to sign up for the race and it didn’t cost me any fees, just cans of food that were going back into the community. I appreciated that I could even wait until the last minute to sign up. M: What do you think the 5K does for this community.A: I have seen this center allow people to overcome an obstacle that they never thought they could. By bringing the community together in this way it promotes a good life style and getting to the finish line no matter what. Coming here I felt such a great sense of love and appreciation. This center does so much good, it’s a family and they make you always want to come back. I know that this is a safe place where I can come and not be judged, but be loved and involved with the community.We hope you're inspired to sign up TODAY after reading Anthony's inspiring story of finding a passion and staying dedicated to it. Register online HERE! Enter code: blog to receive $3 off the purchase of a t-shirt today through tomorrow at noon!