8th Annual Grace Race Oct 1st 2011, Chelmsford MA

Mar 15, 2011, 11:00 ET from Grace Race Fund Inc

CHELMSFORD, Mass., March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Grace Race Fund Inc. invites participants and volunteers for the 8th Annual Grace Race road race and walk to be held October 1, 2011 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. The Grace Race Fund Inc. (www.gracerace.org) is a unique non-profit 501(c)(3) and all-volunteer organization fueled by the desire to improve the lives of Kenyan children who have been orphaned due to AIDS, malaria, and other diseases.

In 2009, 80,000 people died in Kenya due to AIDS and related illnesses and 1.2 million children have been orphaned as a result of AIDS.  Grace Race fund-raiser provides a unique opportunity for the New England community to take direct action to address this crisis.

The Grace Race Fund, Inc.  is working in Naivasha, Kenya, a town of 40,000 people, about 100 km from Nairobi.  The Naivasha Project is focused on the construction of a primary/secondary school, vocational training facility, and orphanage being built in Naivasha.

In prior years, Grace Race events have raised over $172,000 with partnerships, committed individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations. This money was used to purchase a 5-acre plot of land overlooking beautiful Lake Naivasha, install a well and pump, install electrical infrastructure, build an irrigation system for the farmland, and construct the orphanage.  The orphanage will care for 100 children and includes administrative offices, a medical clinic, dining hall, kitchen, gym, and dormitories.

To complete and open the orphanage and school, the Grace Race Fund needs about $150,000.  The school classrooms will be built adjacent to the dormitories. Vocational training will be in the areas of carpentry, plumbing, electrical, welding and metal machining, auto mechanics, computers/IT, agriculture, and tailoring – skills which will help the children to become successful, productive adults when they graduate. The facility will also include a clinic open to the community, to dispense medications, perform check-ups and treatments, and provide insecticide-treated mosquito nets to combat malaria.

Some grim statistics from humanitarian and government agencies paint the picture of challenges faced in Africa, and Kenya in particular:

More than 16 million children have been orphaned by AIDS, 14.9 million in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Kenya, with a population of 40 million is home to one of world's harshest AIDS epidemics.  Only one in three Kenyan children with AIDS is receiving treatment. There are 250 million cases of malaria each year, killing 1 million yearly. Young children and pregnant women are most susceptible to death from it.  Only 49% of girls and 52% of boys of secondary school age attend school in Kenya; the country's unemployment rate is a staggering 40%.

The Grace Race is a family-oriented community event for all ages, with proceeds going directly to the construction of this facility. It includes a 5-mile road race with prize money to top overall and Master's finishers, trophies to top age-group finishers, club competition, a 5K fitness walk, free child care, bag check-in area, raffle, and a great feast of refreshments including pizza.

Anyone interested in running, walking, or volunteering may register online or download a mail-in application and pledge sheet. Please join us for a fun and rewarding experience! The registration fee is $20 up to September 17. After that, it is $25.  For more information, please contact Ray Mascola at ray@gracerace.org.

SOURCE Grace Race Fund Inc