Saturday, October 25, 2014

Race for Haiti

5 and 10k to raise money and awareness for orphans

Runners will flock to Percival Island Saturday, April 19, in order to compete in a 5 or 10k race to raise money and awareness for orphans in Haiti.

The race, titled “Love Endures,” is being coordinated in partnership with the Hands and Feet Project (HAF), founded by Audio Adrenaline in 2004. According to race coordinator Ryan Wheeler, the goal is to raise money to put toward saving homeless Haitian children.

“We are trying to raise $5,000 to help HAF build a brand new orphanage to help save more of the 750,000 children who are homeless in Haiti,” Wheeler said.

According to fellow race coordinator Courtney Woolfolk, they are expecting between 100 and 150 people to show up for the race but are optimistic for more.

“I am personally hoping for somewhere around 300,” Woolfolk said. “I believe we serve a big God that likes to blow our minds and exceed our expectations.”

According to Wheeler, the race is also being sponsored by Liberty University’s psychology club, PsyComm. The sponsorship came about through lead coordinator Josiah Henderson’s connections with Liberty’s Department of Psychology. Wheeler said Henderson, a psychology major and avid runner, inquired about the sponsorship through psychology professor Dr.
Anderson and discovered that the club would be delighted to help.

According to Wheeler and Woolfolk, the race course is a mostly flat trail that is paved and easy-going. Wheeler said the 5k is an easier course than the 10k, as the longer distance requires racers to turn around and run up some difficult hills. Other than that, Wheeler said, the course is trouble-free.

“The course is paved, so racers don’t have to worry about looking at the ground the whole time for roots and rocks,” Wheeler said. “It is, for the most part, flat and runs parallel to the James River, which makes for a gorgeous view on a Saturday morning run.”

According to Wheeler, HAF partners with many groups nationwide to put on fundraiser races. The HAF staff is very knowledgeable, Wheeler said, and helps make the process of setting up a race as simple and hassle-free as possible.

“One of the HAF staff helped provide us with posters, graphic designs, a registration website and a donation website all for free,” Wheeler said. “I think the hardest part of the process was actually just setting up additional sponsorships with local businesses in Lynchburg.”

Wheeler said he got involved with the project after Henderson approached him at church to tell him about the opportunity.

“After researching the organization and seeing how they are really making an impact in Haiti, I had to jump aboard to bless others who have been devastated by natural disasters and poverty,” Wheeler said.

According to Wheeler and Woolfolk, anyone can get behind the cause and partner with HAF to coordinate a race and help make a difference in the lives of thousands of Haitian orphans.

The race’s address at Percival Island is 1600 Concord Turnpike, Lynchburg, Va., 24502. For more information on the Love Endures race, visit the Facebook page by searching for the event “Love Endures: 5k/10k Race for Haitian Orphans.”

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