Great BIG Run for Africa – A Decade Running!

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Organizers and runners Crystal Flaman & Stephanie Moore on Global TV

On October 19, twenty runners took to the Okanagan highways in a 100 km relay run to support our projects in Ethiopia, blessed with one of the most beautiful autumn Sundays on record (clear sky and 21 degrees!). The Great BIG Run for Africa has been “run” annually for a decade and in that time has raised about $180,000. Just as importantly, this event has been a great showcase for Partners, raising awareness of our work among many thousands of Okanagan-Shuswap residents.

This year was the 10th Great BIG Run, an incredible achievement for the group of volunteers who started it all back in 2005. Alison Moscrop of Kelowna travelled to Ethiopia in 2004 to see Partners projects first hand. Early one morning, she was awoken by the sound of hundreds of people running along the streets of Addis Ababa. She learned that many people in the country participate in races, running barefoot or in whatever shoes they own just for the love of running. Upon her return to Canada, she wanted to create a fundraiser that would incorporate running to raise awareness and money for Partners projects. She teamed up with friends Stephanie Moore and Crystal Flaman, who audaciously suggested they would run 100km as a relay. They were later joined by MJ Turton and Nicole Rustad, and this formed the core volunteer team that has made this event possible over all these years. Later on, they were joined by a group from Enderby led by Afke Zonderland who ran into Enderby from Mabel Lake.

The Great BIG Run has been incredibly successful, raising money to change thousands of lives in Ethiopia through projects providing clean water supply, safe schools, and critical support to orphans and vulnerable children. More recently, the proceeds of the event have been directed to projects to help poor women promoting their own small business through funding start-up and training. This year the event rai  sed almost $20,000 and attracted extensive coverage by the Okanagan media. See our YouTube channel (via our website) for the Global Okanagan TV 3 minute news story that lead the newscast of the day.

A Great BIG Thank You to our runners, sponsors, support volunteers and donors!

(A shortened version of this story appeared in our Winter 2014-15 newsletter, available here)

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Some of the runners who finished the run into Enderby and some of our volunteers. Also, thanks to the Enderby Fire Department who escorted the runners into town once again!

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MJ, Brian, Woinshet and Belayneh arriving in Enderby

 

by Partners in the Horn of Africa