Nearly 100 people took to the streets of Kenova Saturday morning to participate in a race to support education of youth both here and in Africa.
The Mission Education 5K and 10K keeps getting bigger every year, likely because of its noble mission: to support the charity Amy for Africa, and to also support newspapers in our schools.
“We provide hundreds of papers every school day for classrooms and teachers,” said Daily Independent Publisher Eddie Blakeley, who thanked the race’s sponsors and backers for making it happen.
“Without King’s Daughters Medical Center, this race would not have happened,” Blakeley said. “Stanley Steemer and Amy for Africa —without them this race wouldn’t happen. We want to have a race that is seen as one of the premier in the region and as the years go by, we are going to get there.”
The winner of the men’s division of the 5K was Nolan Sabotchick. The winner in the women’s division was Missy Moore. Moore also won the women’s 10K category while Josh Blanton won the men’s division.
Runner Neil Johnson came to the race to support Amy for Africa — a non-profit that builds schools and helps educate children in Uganda.
“I’m a big supporter of Amy for Africa. I’ll share their cause everywhere I go, ” Johnson said, adding “I’m just going to keep a steady pace and keep the fast runners behind me. If not I’m still having a good time.”
Gina Lovejay oversees a run club at Sugar Creek Christian Academy. She brought 19 members of the club to participate in the race.
“For cross country they can only do (grades) 3 through 6 and I have 1st grade thru 12th,” Lovejay said. “We’ve been practicing so I thought this race caught my eye because I’ve heard Amy speak before and so this is the first race that caught my eye.”
Amy is a reference to Amy Compston, co-founder of Amy for Africa.
“I hope everyone has a great time and people accomplish their goals,” Compston said. ” We’ve got some people running nine miles today so it’s a long way.”
Mark Maynard, president of Amy for Africa, said the money raised has a profound impact on lives, offering safe, secure learning environments for kids in Africa.
“We have started seven schools in Africa and we are in the midst of operating one where we pay for everything,” Maynard said. “$45 dollars you can educate a child for a year.”