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Naivasha Project

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GraceRace 2007

The Grace team working with local parishioners to plant fence posts.

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GraceRace 2007

The Grace team working with local parishioners to plant fence posts.

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GraceRace 2007

The Grace team working with local parishioners to plant fence posts.

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GraceRace 2007

The Grace team working with local parishioners to plant fence posts.

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GraceRace 2007

The Grace team working with local parishioners to plant fence posts.

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GraceRace 2007

The Grace team working with local parishioners to plant fence posts.

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GraceRace 2007

The Grace team working with local parishioners to plant fence posts.

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GraceRace 2007

The Grace team working with local parishioners to plant fence posts.

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GraceRace 2007

The Grace team working with local parishioners to plant fence posts.

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GraceRace 2007

The Grace team working with local parishioners to plant fence posts.

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GraceRace 2007

The Grace team working with local parishioners to plant fence posts.

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GraceRace 2007

The Grace team working with local parishioners to plant fence posts.

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How Are We Doing ...

gracerace_img.jpg Grace Race Fund
The orphanage and school building construction is done, thanks to your support!
The orphanage and school building construction is done, and the One27 Academy is now open as of January 2013, thanks to your generous support. We still need your assistance. Please help us raise $20K by January 1st 2016 to fund farming projects and vocational training infrastructure at the Academy. Together we can do it! Your partnership is much appreciated!

Photos from 2015 trip to Naivasha

Aug 28th, 2015 by feehrer | 0

 

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Grace Race friends,

There is no race this year (2015) – see my previous post for more about why – but there are still projects going on at the Academy in Naivasha that you helped to build through your participation in the Grace Race. If you would like to make a donation to support ongoing work with landscaping, sports fields and equipment, classroom development, housing for teachers, and livestock pens, you can donate online using the Paypal facility in the upper right corner of this page, or write a check to: The Grace Race Fund Inc., 275 Billerica Rd., Chelmsford MA 01824. Any amount is much appreciated and goes a long way in Kenya!

A team from Grace Community Church visited Naivasha in August 2015 and brought back thousands of photos. They had a wonderful visit with the kids who live at the Academy, and also had a chance to meet the children who attend classes there and live at homes in the community. There are about 150 kids in the program as of now. Funds raised from the Grace Race in 2014 were used to purchase science laboratory equipment. A few of the photographs below show that equipment. As you can plainly see, your support has made a profound difference in the lives of these children. Enjoy these photos, check back from time to time to see more news posted here, and also check out our Grace Race facebook page.  Thank you so much for your generosity!

Best wishes,

The Grace Race Team

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teens2 teens1 little_kids4 little_kids3 little_kids2 little_kids lab7 lab6 lab5 lab4 lab3 lab2 lab1 kids2 kids1 IMG_8546 IMG_8538 IMG_8373 IMG_8252 IMG_8247 IMG_8242 IMG_8230 happy_girls2 happy_girls happy_boys girls bball

 

 

Funds raised at 11th Annual Grace Race … and some more news

Jan 31st, 2015 by feehrer | 0

Greetings Grace Race friends,

Thanks to your support and participation, we raised $2250 in 2014 (net, after race expenses) through the 11th Annual Grace Race, held on October 4th. That money will be used by the leaders at the One27 Academy in Naivasha, Kenya to purchase laboratory equipment for the secondary school science program taught there. It is not a big amount of money by American standards, but goes a lot farther in Kenya than you might imagine. Added to the amount we have raised over the previous 10 years, that brings the total over our 11-year history to over $242,000. Not bad for a dinky little race in Chelmsford! Some or all of the money collected through the 2014 Advent Calendar fund-raiser held at Grace Community Church (the host of the Grace Race) will be combined with our Grace Race dollars for a total of close to $4000 to send to Kenya next week. The kids at the Academy will now be equipped to learn chemistry and physics because of your enthusiasm and participation.

Which brings me to the second piece of news to share … Because some faithful Grace Race runners have already started to ask about the 12th Annual, we need to get the word out now that it’s not happening –  there will not be a race in 2015. Yes, it’s true – I’m not changing my mind this time! This was a bit of an agonizing decision because this annual shindig has become a labor of love, especially for Kenny Mitchell (Course Directory, Volunteer Coordinator, and Treasurer) and me. We share a love for running and have been working closely with each other on this event since that first race in the snow in 2004. We’ve learned all about race directing and all of its joys and headaches. We will miss it, big time. But we had to take a hard look at our numbers – the number of runners and walkers (which has dwindled recently due to competition from other races in the area), the number of dollars raised after paying the various fees to put on the race, and the number of hours our team was investing in planning and fund-raising.

The reality is that putting on a high-quality road race, even a little one that draws just 100-200 people, is a huge undertaking.  Using a road race as the primary fund-raising vehicle for a distant cause adds yet another dimension of complexity in marketing and promotion. We developed into a well-tuned machine over the years and thank all of the many many volunteers who came out with smiles to help year after year. We also appreciated the help that OnYourMarxRacing provided to offload much of the race logistics.  The Grace Race Fund board members met last November to talk about these issues and decided that we need to take a breather and explore simpler ways to fund-raise to help the kids in Kenya. We are all volunteers with busy families, jobs, and other volunteer commitments. We are, however, committed to those kids in Kenya, and believe there are other creative ways to raise several thousand dollars a year for them that do not involve as much work. We’ll be discussing some ideas in the months ahead. For you runners … one idea we have tossed around is to form a Grace Race racing team whose members would gather pledge money from a set of family and friends, run local races together, and collect the money to send to the One27 Academy in Naivasha. Who’s in?! Let me or Kenny know – john@gracerace.org, kenny@gracerace.org.

If you have ideas about fund-raising, we’d be happy to hear them. For those who want to continue financial support for our mission, you can always donate online through Paypal (use the DONATE button in the upper right corner of our web site – click on it), or write a check to The Grace Race Fund Inc., 275 Billerica Rd., Chelmsford MA 01824.

Thank you very much (“Asante sana” in Swahili) once again to all of you who have helped to make this event possible, and more importantly  helped to improve the lives of Kenyan orphans, “One Step at a Time!” This is certainly a unique and wonderful community that has formed over the last 11 years, and we hope the Grace Race experience has been fun and has enriched each of your lives in some small way. Best wishes to you!

Another fun-filled Grace Race – thank you all!

Oct 7th, 2014 by feehrer | 0

Hi Grace Race friends,

Thanks to all of you who ran, walked, volunteered, donated, and sponsored someone at the 11th Annual Grace Race on Oct. 4th! It was a fun day as always, and though the clouds and mist hurt our numbers a bit, we appreciate everyone who came out to participate. This year we had our best raffle ever; just about everyone who ran/walked/volunteered walked away with an award or prize of some sort, as well as a full belly thanks to our refreshments providers.

Glarius Rop of Springfield, MA defended his title in the men’s race, running a speedy 24:52 for the 5-mile course (15 seconds off his record set last year). Kara Haas, a Chelmsford resident well-known in the running community, returned to win the women’s race, running a great time of 20:41. Joseph Ekuom, who grew up in Kenya and now resides in Kingston, NY returned for his 4th time to win the men’s Master’s 1st place prize with a time of 28:40. Eileen Conte of Burlington, MA ran 37:52 to take the women’s Master’s 1st place prize.

Full results are posted at coolrunning.

We will post a full set of raceday photos soon, too – look for them here.

Thanks to Marx Running and Fitness of Acton, MA who through their OnYourMarxRacing race management program took care of registration, timing, awards, shirts, and other details. Make sure you buy your running shoes and other gear at Marx Running!

The Westford Police Amateur Radio Team under Andy Stewart’s direction helped with communication prior to and during the race, and helped to keep everyone safe, along with the Chelmsford Police – thanks guys. We are grateful for all our sponsors who donated cash, refreshments, and prizes for our big raffle. Thanks to Super Stop and Shop of Chelmsford, a late addition to the list of sponsors, for providing water and fresh bagels.

We’re grateful for Kronos Inc. letting us use their parking lot, as they have for the past several years of our event.

All of the net funds raised this year (after race expenses) go to the purchase of laboratory and vocational training equipment at the One27 Academy in Naivasha, Kenya that we’ve built with your support with money raised at The Grace Race over the last 11 years. Please check out our child sponsorship program at http://www.onechildkenya.org to learn how you can further assist and provide for the educational needs of the children living at this unique facility. Many of the children who live there and who hope to one day live at this place still need sponsors and you can fulfill that need!

We are still tallying up pledge money raised by walkers and runners this year, and when we have determined the total amount to send to Kenya, we will post it here. Thanks again for being a part of The Grace Race and doing your part “one step at a time” to help orphans in Kenya who’ve had a difficult start to life. Please know that we could not accomplish any of this work to empower and educate these children without your faithful support!

Getting close to Grace Race day!

Sep 16th, 2014 by feehrer | 0


Fall is now definitely in the air, and October 4th will soon be here. If you have not registered yet for the 11th Annual Grace Race or signed up to help as a volunteer, what are you waiting for? Please don’t hesitate! We need you! Please help us to make this the biggest Grace Race in history. Here’s all you need to know:

  • Register online for the 5M run or 5K walk at OnYourMarxRacing. Or, download a paper application if you prefer the old-fashioned way. Save $5 by registering before Sept. 21st. Registration opens at 8:30 AM; run walk start at 10 AM.
  • Start/finish at Grace Community Church, 275 Billerica Rd. in Chelmsford MA. Parking at Kronos, a block away at 297 Billerica Rd.
  • Download pledge sheet if you want to raise money and win awards by having friends sponsor you. This is optional but you may want to check the awards – they are generous. Your efforts and your friends’ donations of any amount will provide kids in Kenya tools they need to learn vocations.
  • We still need a lot of help! All ages are welcome and the work counts for high school service hours. Bring a team of friends! Register as a volunteer here.

Questions? Contact me at john@gracerace.org. See you on Saturday Oct. 4th and please tell your friends to come!

Vocational training and the 11th Annual Grace Race

Jul 13th, 2014 by feehrer | 0

Hi friends! Please remember to register for the 11th Annual Grace Race online through OnYourMarxRacing here or download a paper application and mail it with a check to the address shown on the application (see right sidebar of this page for link to application). The race is on Saturday Oct. 4th at 10 AM and you won’t want to miss it. Tell your friends who like to run or walk. If you want to volunteer to help, you are most welcome. Please register online as a volunteer so we can contact you.

If you sign up to run or walk, don’t forget to ask friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to sponsor you. It’s optional but we encourage it! You can download a paper pledge sheet (old school, but it works well and many people still opt for it) or use one of our online fund-raising options. Speaking of fund-raising … think back to your middle-school or high-school years. Perhaps you took a shop class or a “home economics” class where you learned some basic skills, created woodworking projects (hand-made Christmas gifts for the family?) and made use of the school’s set of tools.  Maybe you attended a vocational high school where you had more advanced training in something like welding, auto mechanics, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, computers/IT, cooking, etc. The One27 Academy in Naivasha, Kenya that you each helped us build has been up and running since January 2013 thanks to your support. About 75 kids live there and an additional group of teens from the community attend classes there during the day; their tuition fees, in addition to money donated through the OneChild sponsorship program to support kids who live on site, help offset day-to-day operational costs. The money raised at this year’s Grace Race will be used to purchase equipment for the various vocational training programs to be offered at the Academy. With the unemployment rate as high as 50% or more in Kenya and no welfare system for the jobless, having a job skill is extremely important. We want to do all we can here in the US to provide these boys and girls with the resources (tools, training, teachers) they need to become successful self-sufficient adults. While some of the best students will go on to college in Kenya, a large number will seek jobs in the local community. That is why this training and equipment is so vital. We’ve set a goal of raising $20K for vocational training equipment this year. Will you partner with us to make it happen? If each you can ask 4 or 5 friends for a small donation, we will meet or exceed our goal. If you want to make a positive life-changing impact on some needy kids by doing something you enjoy – running or walking – here’s your chance. Thanks for reading, enjoy the summer, start training, and see you on October 4th!

The Official 11th Annual Grace Race Poster!

Jun 1st, 2014 by feehrer | 0

Online registration is open, or you can download a paper registration form.

11th Annual Grace Race online registration is open!

Apr 28th, 2014 by feehrer | 0

Hi Grace Race friends,

Happy Spring! Our friends at OnYourMarxRacing having opened up the online registration. Click here to register for the 5-mile run or 5K walk happening on Saturday Oct. 4th. Plenty of time to get in shape and the long winter is over! 

11th Annual Grace Race Saturday Oct. 4th

Feb 15th, 2014 by feehrer | 0

Hi Grace Race friends,

In case you missed my blog from a few weeks ago … The 11th Annual Grace Race is set for Saturday Oct. 4th. Mark your calendars please so you won’t miss it! MarxRunning is coordinating logistics through their OnYourMarxRacing program to help local road races. Details and online registration links will soon be posted in coolrunning and on the Marx Running calendar. We are also listed on New England Runner’s online calendar. Stay tuned for more details and enjoy the rest of the winter. Be careful if you’re running outside! Thank you in advance for helping to make this year’s annual Grace Race the biggest one yet!

Photos of the rain water reservoir project – it’s done!

Feb 4th, 2014 by feehrer | 0

Grace Race friends,

Here are some photos of the completed rain water collection and reservoir system. This was built using funds that you helped us raise through your participation in the 10th Annual Grace Race last fall. Good work and asante sana (Thank you very much)!

Mark your calendars: 11th Annual Grace Race Oct. 4th 2014!

Feb 2nd, 2014 by feehrer | 0

Hi Grace Race friends,

Thanks for helping us to raise over $4000 at the 10th Annual Grace Race! The run and walk turnout was a little lower than in previous years, but as always we were delighted by your support and generosity. You came together as a community to have some fun and help the kids in Kenya, as you have for the past 10 years. Good work everyone! Construction of the rainwater collection and reservoir project at the One27 Academy in Naivasha that I described in previous blogs is underway. This was the focus of fund-raising in 2013. We’ll post photos of the project soon. Grace Race Fund thank-you letters that you can use for tax purposes have gone out to those of you who made donations.

Planning is also underway for the 11th Annual Grace Race, to be held on Saturday October 4th, 2014 at 10AM! Please mark your calendars. Marx Running, through their OnYourMarxRunning program to help local road races, will again be assisting us with logistics and promotion. We’ll post the online signup link as soon as it’s available. Please help us to grow the race – tell your friends about the Grace Race and send them a link gracerace.org.

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the winter and don’t forget to train! Treadmills and elliptical trainers are your friends when the roads are too treacherous. Stay tuned for more details on the race and the projects in Kenya ….

–  John, for the Grace Race team