Contact: Meera Kapur
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2008
Ekal Vidyalaya Team raised $11,854 at the Houston Chevron Marathon
By Krishna Danda & Pankaj Malani
A team of EKAL VIDYALAYA participated in the Houston Chevron Marathon for the first time this year on January 13. From the start to finish, the team was motivated and determined to finish the 5k Run, and to have a good time doing it. It was cold beautiful sunny morning, but that did not stop anyone from participating and enjoying the day’s activities.
There were more than 20,000 participants, 200,000 spectators and 5,000 volunteers participating in this International event. Pankaj Malani finished in 32 minutes followed by Krishna Danda & Nila Ray. All EKAL volunteers finished 5K Run in less than 55 minutes, great job! Congratulations goes to Mr. Shintri, at age 72, he ran Half Marathon and finished 13 ½ miles in 3:00 hours.
We are proud of Hema Sharad Patel, an employee of Alief School district who joined our team & finished 5K Run. Both her knees were replaced last year but she still walked for a very good reason, EDUCATION. She believes in the mission of Ekal Vidyalaya, One teacher school for rural children in India. She had lots of pain after the event but she was happy she walked.
Lauren White, Accounts Receivable Administrator at Star Pipe Products also ran 5K and she said “It was a great honor to participate in the Houston Marathon EP5K on Sunday, January 13, 2008. We had approximately 20 people from Star Pipe Products and friends join us in this walk to help benefit the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA. This foundation helps fund rural schools in India. I hope that we can continue to support great charities like this one along with the fitness and health of our employees and family.”
We are proud to participate in 5K Run but let’s hear from Half and Full Marathon runners:
Raj Muchimilli: It was a fine morning in Houston as I ran for a second year in a row and this time it was for a cause I am proud to be part of. It was heartening to see people of all walks come together and participate with an enthusiasm that gave hope, energy and excitement to one and all. A truly colorful event that I see apt for
supporting Ekal's mission. Finished Half Marathon in 2hrs 15 mts 41secs.
Kishore Kamalapuri: In June 2007, I could barely run 2 miles. And I said to myself, “I will run 26.2 miles in 6 months time”. To me, that was a brave (& audacious) goal. Then, my thoughts turned to Ekal Vidyalaya’s goal - to eradicate illiteracy from India. My goal seemed very EASY.
Self-doubts crept in several times – in the training & during the marathon. Every time, I said to myself “What I’m trying to do is EASY. Look at what Ekal is trying to do”. This kept me going. I stayed the course achieved the goal & I finished the marathon in 4:58 hours.
A worthy cause like this requires a lot of funds. Aruna Varahabhotla has been driving this through Team Sravanti. I wish her & Ekal a big success & encourage everyone to donate to this cause.
Aruna Varahabhotla: I am a first time participant in the Half-Marathon, after toying with the idea for sometime, watching my friends participate the last two years. Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation also gave me a reason to run and in a small way contribute toward their lofty goal of eradicating illiteracy from India by 2011. Since a few of our friends were participating again this year, we decided to raise funds for EKAL collectively. We called our team 'Sravanti' to raise money for this cause as we believe education made a difference in our lives and Ekal is working hard at extending this advantage to many children in the nook and corner of India.
Participating in the half/full marathon not only gives a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment but also drives home the spirit of volunteerism seen in abundance during the event. It is a great learning experience for children as well. Team Sravanti comprised of non-participants who donated generously and also participants of all ages in categories 5K, Half & Full Marathon. Making this a team activity garnered more participation, support and turned out to be a fun-filled event for the children.
Here are the completion times of participants of our team in the Half Marathon: J K Gundamaraju - 2:16:28, Aruna Varahabhotla - 2:45:32, Anirudh Pillutla - 2:55:25, Lalita Rachakonda - 2:56:40, Sangita Vennelakanti - 3:40:45, Sudesh Pillutla - 3:40:46.
John Higgins: I finished Full Marathon in 4:39:03.
Yvette Willson: My name is Yvette Willson (44 yrs old). This was my first time at running a Half Marathon & I ran it in 2.06 - I have the blisters to prove it and feel very proud!
Ekal Vidyalaya Houston Marathon team is blessed to have so many well wishers who ran for one and only one cause – Education for Tribal children in India. The Houston Marathon 5K Run will become an annual event for the EKAL team. We want to encourage everyone to join us next year. It is an opportunity to raise money for a tremendous cause while getting some exercise and meeting others involved with the organization. Through this event, the team was able to raise $11,854. The Team Sravanti raised $2,940 and individual fundraiser was none other than Meera Kapur raising $1,875. You all can still make a difference; the donations can be made on line by visiting http://www.active.com/donate/ekal, till January 31, 2008. We know that next time, with the support of others that are willing to lend a hand and be part of the team, that we can raise even more money, and help the children in the Tribal Villages in India. We would like to thank everyone that participated and hope to see even more people next year!
Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Tax ID 77-0554248. The EVF USA is a movement established to full fill Swami Vivekananda’s dream: “If the poor boy cannot come to education, education must go to him.” & “The poor, the illiterate, the ignorant, the afflicted – let these be your God. Know that service to these alone is the highest religion.”
For information visit www.ekal.org
|This year 2008 Ekal is going to organize 5 Samanvay Varg, covering the 5 zones of Bharat. These are-|
|West Zone at Bhopal||-||February 16-18|
|North Zone at Varanasi||-||Feb 23-25|
|East Zone at Jamshedpur||-||March 1-3|
|South Zone at Kanyakumari||-||March 21-23|
|North East Zone at Guwahati||-||April 5-7 .|
|All ekalites are invited for the Samanvay Varg.|