CHARITY, HAITI AT FOREFRONT AS RUNNERS TAKE TO STREETS OF MIAMI
As many as 30 percent of the 18,000 runners who will participate in the ING Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon® January 31, 2010 on the streets of Miami and Miami Beach will be running on behalf of their favorite charity. This commitment to goodwill is a significant element of the impact of the race as thousands of dollars are raised to enhance various causes throughout the South Florida community and the world.
Some of the charitable efforts will be in the forefront of the public eye such as Team World Vision, which now has made humanitarian aid to earthquake ravaged Haiti the focal point of its worldwide effort. The ING Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon® has placed links on its website to try to drive attention toward the Haiti relief effort and runners are being encouraged to participate under the Team World Vision umbrella.
"Runners often begin their preparation for the marathon with training groups of the various charities. Encouraged by the camaraderie of fellow runners and running group team leaders, they are able to achieve their personal best times as well as achieve fundraising dollars. The efforts of these charitable groups within the running community are felt around the world. We encourage all of our runners to assist in whatever way they can."
Charities raised more than $3 million at the 2009 ING Miami Marathon. Charity runners in the ING Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon® make a donation to their charity of choice in lieu of paying their registration fee directly to the race. Then the charity registers its team with the race at a discounted rate, keeping the additional money it raises for its cause.
Since the devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti, these committed runners have become even more motivated and more runners are joining Team World Vision to raise awareness and funds to alleviate the intense suffering and grief of the devastated Haitian population.
All ING Miami Marathon participants not currently associated with a charity are being asked to run with Team World Vision or sponsor a Team WV runner. Team World Vision will now also participate in the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida Tropical 5K benefitting the Community Partnership for the Homeless on January 30h and is calling on all runners and walkers in South Florida to join them and Run/Walk for Haiti.
Runners interested in joining Team World Vision and running or walking for Haiti relief efforts should visit www.teamworldvision.org/miami
“As Haiti’s closest American neighbor, we have a moral obligation to ensure Haiti is kept on the radar screen long after the focus of the world drifts past the harrowing headlines and images,” said Julie Grimes, Chairperson of Operation Hope for Haiti. “The smallest steps lie in the heart of all movements. In solidarity, let us use our steps to help our neighbors move forward to a better life and ensure the world does not forget.”
World Vision began distributing emergency relief supplies immediately after the quake rocked Haiti, since it had supplies pre-positioned for other disasters. In its race to respond and overcome the overwhelming challenges of getting relief assistance to those in need, World Vision is using all the resources at its disposal. With 800 Haitian staff already on the ground and international logistics and disaster response experts deployed, World Vision is launching humanitarian programs not only in the capital city, but also in rural areas and along the border. A World Vision airlift of 18 metric tons of supplies arrived January 15th, with more on the way.
"We have recognized the outstanding efforts of Team World Vision and their participation in various races managed by US Road Sports & Entertainment,” said David Scott, General Manager of US Road Sports & Entertainment of Florida and Race Director of the ING Miami Marathon. “The impact they have both here in the United States and internationally has been significant and with the ING Miami Marathon just two weeks away, what better opportunity is presented to us than partnering with them for this event.
“With such a large Haitian population in our South Florida community, we want to do our part in assisting with the recovery efforts for the people of Haiti.”
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. It serves the world’s poor -- regardless of a person’s religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.
“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of donors already,” said President Rich Stearns of World Vision’s United States office. “But this response will be a marathon, and we need people who will continue to run that race beside us.”
Contact: Gary Ferman or Lisa Franson
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