Marathon chance for charities

When the Cayman Islands Marathon comes round, many charities will benefit from the good nature of runners raising money for good causes.

fraser

Fraser raised $40,000 for the Lighthouse School.
Photo: Ron Shillingford

All proceeds from the Cayman Islands Marathon, which takes place on Sunday 7 December, will benefit the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps and the Cancer Society.

Race organisers are encouraging runners to consider running for these or any other charities of their choice.

‘Running in aid of a charity is a great way to motivate yourself and push forward when the training becomes tedious or difficult,’ says Rhonda Kelly, Race Director for the Cayman Islands Marathon.

The fact that your completion of the race will benefit people in need is always a great incentive.’

Runners can log on to the CaymanIslandsMarathon.com website and make a donation to one of the charities already listed or they can contact the organisers to have a charity added to the list.

Then the runner can send an email to friends and loved ones to let them know about his/her intention to run and donations can then be made in the runner’s name to that organisation.

Running for charity is very common and last year a few of the Cayman Marathon participants raised funds for local organizations.

Most notable was Jim Fraser who ran the marathon in aid of the Lighthouse School, raising over $40,000 to be used for building a multi-sensory nature garden for the students, and assisting with the construction of a hydrotherapy pool and Erin Lynch, who ran her very first marathon and raised $2,600 for the Cayman Islands Humane Society’s Spay and Neuter programme.

This year, the race organisers are looking forward to meeting a young man who is coming from Haiti to run his very first marathon for a very special cause.

Will Perez, 22, is a recent graduate from Brown University who has deferred his first year of medical school to be the new Director of Public Health in Southern Haiti.

‘My position is unpaid and though I use several grants to fund the work I’m doing, I’m in need of extra funds after the three hurricanes destroyed everything I’d been working towards,’ explains Perez.

‘I decided to run the Cayman Islands Marathon as a fundraiser and in dedication to the 650 children at the Pwoje Espwa orphanage where I work.’

Perez says his training programme has been quite rigorous due to the weather conditions and the conditions of the roads that he has to run on.

He has also been training one of the older boys, Fritzner, from the orphanage who he hopes will be able to come to Cayman to run with him.

‘He”s very excited. At 22, he has been living in the orphanage since he was 13. This marathon has become both his and my goal, and so we’re counting down the days until we arrive in the Cayman Islands.’

Because Perez’s funds are very limited, he has found a family in Cayman who has agreed to let him stay at their home when he comes for the race and he has started a blog at http://runningforhaiti.blogspot.com to keep his friends, family and supporters informed of his progress.

His blog also contains information on how people can donate to his cause.

‘Will’s story is an inspiring one and we look forward to welcoming him and Fritzner to Cayman and helping them achieve their goals for the orphanage,’ says Kelly.

‘I would also like to urge the Cayman community to support Will in his efforts, and encourage other runners to find a cause for which they feel passionate and make their run on December 7th count even more.’

Online registration for the Cayman Islands Marathon, half-marathon and four-person relay is available at CaymanIslandsMarathon.com.

Participants can also do walk-in registration at the Kelly Holding office. For more information log on to CaymanIslandsMarathon.com, email [email protected] or call Sue Greene on 946.8822.

The Cayman Islands Marathon is sponsored by Digicel, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Education, Gatorade, Flowers Bottled Water, Corona Light, Cayman National, Atlantic Star Limited, Sagicor, Breezes By the Bay Restaurant, Cayman Free Press, Kirk Freeport, 106.1 KISS FM, Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, Island Companies, ESSO, BioFreeze/RVC Rehab Services, Quaker, Red Sail Sports, CUC, Royal Bank of Canada, Audi, Tropicana, RE/MAX Cayman Islands, Million Dollar Run, Inc. and The Final Touch.

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