An Anniversary Adventure
Posted on November 29, 2017
By Holly Walker
Leigh Baxter knows John Tyler Community College. From teaching to now director of admissions and records and the college registrar, Leigh has focused his career on helping students. While serving on Tyler’s 50th Anniversary Steering Committee, Leigh began a conversation with a colleague about a river walk that was held 10 years before during the college’s 40th anniversary. That discussion inspired Leigh to launch a personal celebration of Tyler’s 50th anniversary that he called 50K for 50. His goal? To do a 5K walk or run in each of the three cities and seven counties that make up the college’s service region.
He kicked off his anniversary adventure in Amelia County during February. There, he explored the trails of Sailor’s Creek State Park. In Charles City County, the home of President John Tyler, his 5K took him along the Capital to Capital trail from the county courthouse to Sherwood Forest, the late president’s home. His journey to Prince George County brought him to a new park on the banks of the Appomattox River for the FOLAR 5K (FOLAR stands for Friends of the Lower Appomattox River). In Petersburg, Leigh made his first visit to the National Battlefield Park, site of the Battle of the Crater. His trip to Colonial Heights took him to Ft. Clifton and White Bank Park, located in the area where Swift Creek meets the Appomattox River and home to waterfront trails. In May, Leigh travelled to Sussex County, where he lapped the track in Stony Creek Park. Sporting his JTCC colors, Leigh visited Dinwiddie County in June to participate in the RBC Twilight 5K. In Surry County, the Chippokes Plantation 5K took him through the state park along the banks of the James River. A tour of the Midlothian Mines Parks gave Leigh a different view of Chesterfield County. Located near the Tyler’s Midlothian Campus, the park includes a pathway around a lake, wooded trails and mine ruins. In October, Leigh wrapped up his tour of Tyler’s service region in Hopewell, where he took part in the City Point 5K. During most of his 5Ks, Leigh was joined by his friend Deb. Brenda Miller, associate professor of IT at Tyler, and her husband Brian, also participated in some of the outings.
Leigh says the 50K for 50 was a fun way to experience the places Tyler’s students live and work. He got to visit beautiful places, enjoy the company of friends, learn about Virginia history, and talk about John Tyler Community College with those he met along the way.
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Holly Walker, Public Relations Manager