Edward Phillips, director of the Kimbilio Project, the campaign to raise funds for the orphanage, said the second Run for Orphans Feb. 16 in Alpharetta will seal the deal.
“We’re really close to the goal. The race should close out funding for the land and some of the building,” said Phillips, of west Buckhead.
So far, he said the project has generated between $26,000 and $27,000, and the goal is $30,000. The goal is to purchase the land soon after the race and to start construction in the beginning of 2014.
Last year’s 5K and Fun Run was the project’s first public fundraiser and produced about $6,000 with about 350 runners and 50 volunteers. This year, Phillips said he expects to exceed last year’s proceeds. He said his hopes to generate awareness to the cause as well as funding.
“There are about 2.6 million orphans in Kenya,” Phillips said.
He said the run’s proceeds are split 50-50 between the Kimbilio Project and the Rejoice Project, which is a training venture in Kenyan rural communities.
“It will help move Rejoice into a new community and start to reach other people,” he said. “They go into schools in communities to teach different virtues of God.”
The project is part of the organization Choose to Invest, founded in 2002 by Kristin and Nathanael Avery, who now live in Kenya with the majority of the Choose to Invest employees.
“Last year was a new adventure. … It was an encouragement to us to keep going and keep pushing,” said race volunteer Cory Anna Jones, of Buckhead. “Hopefully we can just build on [the] success we had last year and raise more funds so we can reach our goal.”
Jones visited Kenya in 2011 and connected with members of Choose to Invest, who introduced her to Phillips.
“I just have a heart for children and orphans especially,” she said. “Just being in Africa is a very rewarding experience and it inspired me to get more involved with the nonprofit.”
Phillips said packet pickup is at the Alpharetta City Pool, near the starting line. Runners and walkers will travel down Old Milton Parkway, Wills Road, Milton Avenue and Main Street. Each participant will receive a dry-fit T-shirt and a goodie bag of coupons and gift cards. Prizes will be given to the overall female and male winners, overall female and male masters winners and to each male and female winner in separate age categories.
Plus, the Healthy Nut food truck will be open for all participants, serving healthy post-race treats.
“I’m just excited for another year,” Phillips said. “It’s just going to be a bigger event.”
He said the event welcomes all abilities of walkers and runners, as well as baby strollers and dogs.
If you go:
o What: Run for Orphans 5K and Fun Run
o Where: Alpharetta City Pool, 1810 Old Milton Pkwy., Alpharetta
o When: Feb. 16 at 7:30 a.m. for 5K and 8 a.m. for Fun Run
o Tickets: $30 for 5K, $25 for Fun Run
o Information: (803) 468-4564, Edward@choosetoinvest.org or www.irunfororphans.org