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Grace race to help inner-city youth

Published:Friday | June 1, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Organisers of Education Run/Walk aim to raise millions to aid students of troubled communities

SOME 5,000 persons are expected to converge at the GraceKennedy headquarters on Harbour Street, downtown Kingston, on Sunday July 8.

They will be decked out in visors, short-sleeve shirts, shorts, sweat pants and sunglasses, gearing up to run or walk five kilometres to raise money to finance the education of Jamaica's youth.

They will be participating in this year's staging of the GraceKennedy Education Run/Walk.

"The main objective of the run is to raise funds for education of the youth in the inner city communities of downtown Kingston. Last year we raised $3.4 million, and this year we are hoping to raise even more, enabling us to educate more of the youths in these communities," Don Wehby, group chief executive officer of GraceKennedy Limited, told The Gleaner.

The run is an initiative of the Grace and Staff community Development Foundation. Approx-imately 2,705 persons participated in the run last year.

passion for service

"Many success stories have passed through our doors and I am positive that many more will, because we are so passionate about the changes we see happening in the communities around us that we will never stop," Wehby added.

Four-hundred-and-forty-six high school and tertiary students are current beneficiaries of scholarships from Grace and Staff Foundation. Wehby also declared that the run has grown significantly in sponsorship and participants since its inception in 2009.

"We had many new sponsors coming on board and the feedback is excellent. When you give back it is one of the greatest feelings in life," he added.

"We at GraceKennedy choose to care about education. We know the objective of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives. What we want to see is a Jamaica where more young people are afforded this opportunity, to raise the standard of living in this nation in the years to come."

The five-kilometre road race/walk will start in front of GraceKennedy Limited's head office, proceed easterly along Harbour Street to the waterfront. The race will end on Harbour Street after following the prescribed route.

alessandro.boyd@gleanerjm.com