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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 $5K by July 1st 2017 to fund construction of a new kitchen at the Academy to feed a growing student population. Every dollar counts! We appreciate your partnership and support!

More photos of the new kitchen construction

Sep 12th, 2017 by feehrer | 0

Hello again Grace Race friends!

Here are some photos of the new kitchen construction that was the focus for our Spring 2017 GoFundMe fundraiser! These were taken by the team from Grace Community Church that traveled to Naivasha in August to spend time with the kids at the One27 Academy that you helped us to build through your donations over the years. The team members brought a set of solar-powered calculators and notebook computers for use in the classrooms, and taught the teachers and students how to use these tools. They also had a wonderful time teaching the kids some trades that eventually will be taught in the vocational training wings of the Academy. The new kitchen and dining facility as you can see is quite large and construction is moving right along. It will be such a great gift to the students and staff who live and eat their meals at the Academy.

Please stay tuned for more photos from the August trip.

Thanks again for your faithful and generous support!

Sincerely,

The Grace Race Team

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New kitchen construction is underway … Thank you!

Jul 25th, 2017 by feehrer | 0

Hello Grace Race friends! Construction for the new kitchen that you helped us raise money for ($6765 as of today) is well underway. Here is a photo I just received a few days ago from our friend and partner Bishop Kimemia in Naivasha. This new kitchen will be a really nice gift to the students and staff at the Academy and they greatly appreciate your concern for their welfare and livelihood! Your contributions, of all sizes, have a tremendous impact on the lives of these people.

A team from Grace Community Church that visited Naivasha to help teach vocational skills just returned to the US. Please stay tuned for more updates on that trip here, and see additional information about the kitchen project posted on our 2017 GoFundMe fund-raiser page.

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Thanks again for being generous and working with us in this unique partnership across continents!

We’re almost there – thanks gang!

May 13th, 2017 by feehrer2 | 0
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Grace Race team at 2017 Rotary Run, Bedford MA

Grace Race supporters,

Well, it was a nice cool day for the Rotary Run/walk in Bedford MA, and we enjoyed the course -part roads, part trails. We are now only $135 away from our goal of $6000. A big thank you to all who have supported this fund-raiser to provide a new kitchen for the school in Naivasha. Let’s finish strong and see if we can even exceed our goal! The GoFundMe campaign (click here) will stay “live” for a few more weeks so there’s still time to donate. We’ll be wiring the money to Kenya in early June so that construction can begin. On behalf of the Grace Race Fund, I say thanks again for helping us fulfill this mission to help Kenyan orphans “one step at a time” … we so appreciate it!

 

Grace Race Fund team run/walk in May – please join us!

Jan 28th, 2017 by feehrer | 13

Hello Grace Race friends,

We are getting together a team to run and walk in the Bedford MA Rotary Run&Walk on Saturday May 13th at 9AM. It’s going to be a blast, and we would love to have you join us to raise money for the Academy you’ve helped us to build in Naivasha Kenya! All abilities and ages, shapes and sizes, are welcome and encouraged. This is all about coming together as a community to help the kids in Kenya, and not about winning trophies or setting records. (But if you’re competitive runner, you may find yourself taking home an age-group prize too!).

This year all the money we raise through sponsors at this event, and all other Grace Race Fund donations, will go to build a new kitchen at the Academy to feed the growing number of students who board there. We’ve set up a GoFundMe site to focus our fund-raising on this project. Please visit this GoFundMe page to learn more and contribute.

If you helped us last year with expanding the classrooms at the Academy, you know that because of your generosity we had a successful GoFundMe and reached our goal (and then some). Here’s last’s year’s campaign page.

Interested in being a team member? Here’s what you need to do …

  1. Sign up for the race – either the 5-mile run or 2-mile walk at the RaceWire registration page.
  2. Send me an emailjohn@gracerace.org – to let me know you’ve registered so that I can add your name to the roster
  3. Ask friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to sponsor you. Remember even small amounts are valuable because lots of small donations add up to a substantial sum. Direct them to the GoFundMe page where they can donate online. We also accept checks, made out to The Grace Race Fund and mailed to:

The Grace Race Fund  275 Billerica Rd.  Chelmsford, MA 01824

If running or walking just isn’t your thing, we understand, but please consider making a donation, asking friends/family/neighbors/coworkers to donate, or taking a little time to help us spread the word about this project.

The kitchen our partners in Kenya want to build at the Academy is very simple and basic, but so critical to keeping the girls and boys there properly nourished and able to thrive and succeed in their studies. What they have on the site now is just not adequate to feed everyone. It’s not sustainable. You can be confident that your financial support will go directly to this construction work and toward purchase of new cooking utensils. Your gift will be used in very tangible and, quite literally, life-giving ways.

Thanks so much for reading, and for considering this opportunity to be part of the team enabling and empowering the next generation of leaders in rural Kenya!

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Slide show from 2016 trip

Aug 20th, 2016 by feehrer | 5

Hi Grace Race friends,

Here is a simple slide show from our recent trip. Enjoy, and thanks again for all the ways you have helped, encouraged, and supported us!

The new classroom building will eventually have 3 floors, with vocational training classes on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Vocational training will include instruction in carpentry, auto mechanics and welding, computers/IT, and sewing. We will need to raise $10K more to complete construction of the 3rd floor. If you would like to donate to that effort, please go to our GoFundMe site. Thanks again for your generous support!

John

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Summer 2016 trip – visit our Facebook group page for photo album

Aug 13th, 2016 by feehrer | 8

Hello Grace Race supporters!

I bring greetings to you from our friends and partners in Naivasha, Kenya. Our trip there this past week went well, and we were so pleased to see how much progress has been made in the construction of additional classroom wings for the One27 Academy, thanks to your contributions. Please see more information about the status of the project by reading the August 12th 2016 Update at our GoFundMe site, and check out photos of the trip and the new construction on our Grace Race Facebook group page.

We need more child sponsors! Please visit the ONEChild web page to learn more and to register online to sponsor a child.

Next step: vocational training equipment and classrooms! If you would like to donate money, please click on the DONATE button in the top right area of this page, donate through GoFundMe, or write a check to: The Grace Race Fund Inc., 275 Billerica Rd. Chelmsford MA 01824. If you would like to donate equipment – for carpentry, auto mechanics (just the tools, not the junk cars), tailoring/sewing, computers/IT, or welding) – please contact me – john@gracerace.org.

Thanks for your continued support and your help in bringing education and a brighter future to kids in Kenya.

Sincerely,

John Feehrer, for the Grace Race Fund

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Please join the Grace Race running team and run with us on May 1st!

Mar 15th, 2016 by feehrer | 11

Grace Race Friends,

We are setting up a team to run the Westford Road Race on Sunday May 1st @2PM to raise money for the classroom wing expansion at the Academy in Naivasha. We need you on the team! You can get friends/neighbors/family/coworkers to sponsor you. Please join us – all ages and abilities are welcome to join the in family fun run, and/or 5K and 10K run events. I set up a GoFundMe campaign page for the fund-raising which makes things real simple …  please read more there about the project and please spread the word to your friends!

Thanks and hope to see you on May 1st!

Latest construction at One27 Academy

Mar 3rd, 2016 by feehrer | 12

Hello Grace Race friends,

The One27 Academy in Naivasha that you helped to build through the Grace Race is growing! The administrators of the school and orphanage ran out of space for the kids living and attending classes at the Academy, and are now in the process of constructing additional dormitory rooms and classrooms. A 2015 Christmas Eve offering at Grace Community Church raised over $19,000, enough to pay for one of the two buildings. You can read Kristen Hunt’s newsletter here for more information. If you would like to help us raise funds for the second building, please click on the Donate button in the upper right corner of the Grace Race home page. Any amount you can donate will go far in Kenya and will be a big blessing. Thanks so much!

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Photos from 2015 trip to Naivasha

Aug 28th, 2015 by feehrer | 5

 

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

Jan 31st, 2015 by feehrer | 8

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!