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Destination Downtown - Five charities to benefit from Kingston City Run

Published:Tuesday | February 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Andrew Harris, Gleaner Writer

Five Kingston-based charities, including some in downtown Kingston, are to benefit from the third staging of the Kingston City Run in March.

Content director for the City Run, Joni Wedderburn, said, after a successful staging last year, the organisers are aiming to raise $4 million this year to donate to these charities, as the event is expected to be even bigger and better this year.

Runners from across the island, and all over the globe, are expected to converge in the Corporate Area on Sunday, March 15.

The scheduled beneficiaries are Missionaries of the Poor, Alpha Boys' School, Food for the Poor, Marie Atkins Night Shelter and the Open Arms Drop-In Shelter.

For the Coordinator of the Open Arms Drop-In Shelter, Yvonne Grant, being again considered as a beneficiary by the Kingston City Run is something to be grateful for as last year's donation really assisted the organisation.

"We really appreciate it, because we have a lot to be done and, as you know, we are a non-government organisation, and all our income is from donations," said Grant.

The Open Arms Drop-In Shelter, established some eight years, now houses more than 80 persons, mostly men. The shelter provides its inmates with three meals per day and introduces them to skills.

Grant said the organisation has many success stories as more than 300 persons, who were homeless, are now living in communities in a much better state than they were.

In addition to its staple 5K and half marathon, Kingston City Run has added a 10K to its schedule of activities this year.

Although 5Ks have become very popular in Jamaica, race organisers want to provide participants with more options as many runners are looking to contest longer distances, which test their strength and endurance.

"Over the past two years, we have received several requests about doing a 10K," said Nicola Madden-Greig, co-chairperson of the Kingston City Run Organising Committee.

"We believe this is a great opportunity for participants to be challenged, at another level, while still enjoying all the fun the event has to offer," added Madden-Greig.