Celebration! White Rock Sponsor Spotlight: Luke’s Locker
In the 1960s, Don Lucas and a small cadre of dedicated runners who spent their weekends at White Rock Lake needed running shoes.
At the time, running was a bit of a radical idea, so Don had to get creative to find shoes, eventually reaching out to a distributor in the Northwest (then known as Blue Ribbon Sports, now known as Nike). Using the trunk of his car as a mobile showroom, Don began selling running shoes to the Dallas running community. Once he outgrew his car, he moved his inventory into his garage. Customers were served in the living room of the Lucas home for several years.
Finally, in the late 70’s, the first official Luke’s Locker opened on Oak Lawn Ave., and thus a Dallas running dynasty was born.
Over the decades, Luke’s Locker has been one of Dallas’ premier suppliers of running and fitness gear, as well as a major sponsor of running events throughout the area. The company outgrew its original location and has relocated, eventually migrating to its current location on Mockingbird Lane. Luke’s has established 10 other locations throughout Texas.
Despite the company’s birth at White Rock Lake, however, Luke’s wasn’t able to find a suitable space near the lake – until the unveiling of Lincoln Property Co.’s planned Arboretum Village shopping center at Gaston Ave. and Garland Road just south of the spillway.
The new 7,500-square-foot store will be a special one for Luke’s. It will offer easy access to the lake via a pedestrian bridge, connecting the shopping center to White Rock Trail. Several of Luke’s training programs will be headquartered there. And, the store plans on featuring a history of the lake as part of its interior design. The new store is expected to open later this year or in the spring of 2015, depending on how quickly the developer is able to prepare the space.
With the store plans in place, Luke’s was looking for additional opportunities to support the lake in a meaningful way. When the White Rock Lake Conservancy approached them to sponsor the inaugural Celebration! White Rock 5K and 10K race and festival, it was an easy decision.
“This event is a no brainer for us,” says Matt Lucas, Don’s son and the company’s President and CEO. “Luke’s and my family grew up running at White Rock Lake, so we want to try and lend support to something that celebrates and helps sustain the lake for the future. We think over time this event will be a significant financial resource for White Rock Lake, and we want to be a part of it for the long haul.”
Celebration! White Rock is on Thursday, April 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at historic Winfrey Point. The event will feature a 5K race, a 10K race, music and more. Race registration is at celebrationwhiterock.org.
Proceeds from Celebration! White Rock will benefit improvement projects at the park, including the Stone Tables and Pavilion, reconstruction of fishing piers, and other much-needed infrastructure projects.
The White Rock Lake Conservancy was founded in 2008 by a group of park enthusiasts to enhance the identity, beauty and safety of White Rock Lake in cooperation with Dallas Park and Recreation and other neighborhood and lake volunteer groups. For more information, visit celebrationwhiterock.org.