The Setauket-based Hope Children’s Fund, a local charity that supports AIDs-affected former “street children” at the Jerusha Mwiraria Hope Children’s Home in Meru, Kenya, found a novel way to continue their fundraising effort, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every year since 2005, the Fund has hosted a Bi-Continental 5K Run/Walk to generate income for the Home. The group has been holding the event on the Port Jefferson Station to Setauket Greenway Trail on a weekend day at 10 a.m. since 2014. The Kenyans start their part of the competition at 4 p.m., seven time zones to the east of the U.S.
Last Saturday, Oct. 24, the group held a much smaller event. A select group of competitors ran or walked over a 5K course on the Greenway Trail. Ryan Filippi, an Interact Club member at Port Jefferson Middle School, and his mother Deirdre Filippi, the Interact adviser, handed out water to participants, meeting them at the turn around point and directing the flow of the competitors.
Meanwhile, HCF has also employed the services of EliteFeats, a company that publicizes competitions that attract fitness enthusiasts, to run independently on any 5K course of their choosing on any day between now and Nov. 1, and donate the contributions to Hope Children’s Fund from those who pledged to support our effort.
The pandemic in Kenya has resulted in shortages of food and other necessities, and the income from the event will be used to help keep the Children’s Home afloat.
“It was a good day for runners in both Port Jefferson Station, and the Kenyan highlands,” Larry Hohler, the president of HCF said. “We are waiting for the East African report on how much they beat us by.”