MOLINE -- If refugees had to flee their countries as fast as their legs could carry them, local runners should find a flat 5K course or a mile run in Moline a breeze.|
World Relief Moline, a not-for-profit agency providing services to refugees and immigrants in Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa, will hold its first Run with the Nations fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 19.
"We're up to 35 runners right now," director Amy Rowell said. "We're hoping for 200 runners and we're hoping to raise $10,000.
"I'm learning how runners like to wait and see what the weather's going to be like," she said. "Refugees flee in all sorts of weather, and if they can flee so fast to save their lives, we should be able to run a little to raise money to help them, don't you think?"
She urged people to register early at getmeregistered.com for discounted rates. The 5K will cost $30, unless registering online with a "STAND2013" code for a $5 discount. The mile fun run will cost $20, unless getting the $5 online discount, Ms. Rowell said.
Costs will include commemorative T-shirts and goodie bags, she said. Packet pickups will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at the World Relief office, 1204 4th Ave. For information, call 309-764-2279, or email ARowell@wr.org.
The race will begin and end at the office. The mile fun run will start at 8:30 a.m., followed by the 5K at 9. A small post-race party will be held and will feature bounce houses, face painting and activities for kids, and a "chance to meet your neighbors," Ms. Rowell said.
Awards will be given to top overall male and female finishers, and to the top three finishers in each age division.
Trophies for top winners will be hand-crafted wooden pieces made by an artist who resettled to the Quad-Cities from Africa. The awards will be in the shape of hands holding a globe, Ms. Rowell said.
Runners also will be entertained by several international choirs, representing a myriad of nations, she said. "We also will have 40 flags on display representing other nations on the day of the race to give God the glory.
"God's the one who plans to bring people together, and he's the one who orchestrates where His people will live," Ms. Rowell said.
Money raised will benefit refugees new to the U.S., to help cover some initial resettlement costs, help them get clothes and shoes for new jobs, or to assist with rent, utility or miscellaneous costs, to help them finish fleeing from their home countries.