This Saturday, December 21, 2013, St. Louisans interested in exercise and in donating to a worthy cause can participate in the volunteer-run 5K Fun Run / Walk St. Louis for Typhoon Haiyan at Creve Coeur Park in Maryland Heights. The 3.1-mile event kicks off at 8:30am at the Tremayne Shelter, with registration beginning at 7:30am. Pets are also welcome on the course. Prospective runners and walkers can also register online.
Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines on November 8, 2013, has now left more than 6,000 confirmed dead as of December 13, with the city of Tacloban having been hit the hardest, according to CNN. In addition, over 1,800 are still reported missing and 27,000 injured. The typhoon destroyed homes, roads, and caused mass water and power outages.
Aid has been coming to the victims through internal and international relief organizations, government, and even grassroots volunteer organizations.
The 5K Fun Run / Walk St. Louis for Typhoon Haiyan has been organized by four young women in the St. Louis area. Mariejoe Clark, Juvie Jimenez, Maria Perez, and Evelyn Saso are all volunteers concerned about the destruction of Typhoon Haiyan and interested in recovery efforts in the storm’s aftermath. “Our group of four Filipina friends have felt the heartache of watching our fellow countrymen go through the destruction of this storm and felt compelled to act in order raise funds for this cause,” the women wrote on their UNICEF fundraising page, where individuals can donate to the Typhoon Haiyan recovery effort regardless of whether or not they will attend the run / walk. “The four of us are not associated with any group or organization, just a group of girls that walk and run together.”
So how does a small group of volunteers put together a fundraising event like this one? The four women first created an Event Plan and budget, discussed the details of the event, and reserved the space at Creve Coeur Park, including paying the event insurance fee. They then created a Facebook community page and online registration website, obtained a liability waiver, and reached out to sponsors. The event has been promoted through social media (Facebook, email), flyers, and word of mouth. In addition, the women sent the race information to local companies familiar to runners and athletes, such as Fleet Feet, St. Louis Track Club, etc. Race-day responsibilities will include marking out the course at the park, checking in the runners and walkers, bringing the appropriate paperwork and other supplies (including food, water, and a heater), and cleanup after the race. Volunteers have also been recruited to help throughout the event, including standing at the mile markers to direct runners and walkers, handing out water, holding signs and cheering, and helping with food and drink distribution at the pavilion. Commemorative t-shirts will be given to the first 100 participants who sign up.
Online registration for this event, which ends this Thursday, December 19, is $25. Day-of registration (cash only) is $30. Please visit the Facebook event page for details.