VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Music, free tasty treat samples and nearly 100 people hanging out on a chilly Saturday morning. It's not random - it’s because of Virginia Beach resident Barry Clark and his team captains.
In 2016, Barry formed the North End Run Club, or NERC for short.
“Our mission is pretty simple: It's get outside, be active and explore your city. But what we like to do is give back and pay it forward through the sport of running," he said.
Today, Barry organized DJ, prizes and a 10-mile run that brought out hundreds of runners and their families to help some of the newer businesses in the Vibe arts district at the Oceanfront.
“He really just brought this community together. I don’t know what it is - the atmosphere around him is just extraordinary," one member said.
So extraordinary that the NERC has 8,500 Instagram followers and 5,300 Facebook followers. They run on Tuesdays - just show up on Tuesday and everyone is welcome.
But Barry has this group running with a purpose.
“Whether it be raising funds for cancer or our military or donating clothes for kids, all year long we’re constantly looking for events to support."
So, News 3 and our community partner, Southern Bank, surprised Barry with a People Taking Action award and a $300 gift card for his endless efforts.
“I love what I do. I love being surrounded by everybody, and all you guys show up and motivate me each week," Barry said.
Barry and the NERC also mobilize their thousands of followers to keep our beaches clean.
“We’ve worked with the Better Beach Project last year, and we’re getting ready to announce in the next few weeks around Something in the Water.”
“As mighty as our group has been over the last couple of years, we’re going to see how far we can take it and how much of an impact we can make at the Oceanfront beach and Chick's Beach at the same time," he said.
Barry's wife, Bradley, and his little boy, Crew, showed up to the award presentation to surprise him.
“He’s always happy, and seeing other people thrive off what he’s doing is just a continuous... I’m just so proud of him," his wife said.
To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.