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Community

Run for Zimbabwe Orphans celebrates 15th event March 23

The 15th annual Run for Zimbabwe Orphans and Fair is scheduled noon to 4 p.m. March 23 at St. Joseph Catholic School, 1120 Miramonte Ave., Mountain View.

“I’m very excited about this year’s race,” said Los Altos resident Ellen Clark, the event’s chief organizer and founder of the nonprofit Sustainable Living Foundation.

Megha Agarwal, a senior at St. Francis High School and race ambassador the past two years, said this year’s fifth- and sixth-grade mile race is dedicated to the memory of the Rev. Eric Freed, the former St. Francis chaplain and religious studies teacher who died Jan. 1.

“He was a supporter of the Zimbabwe Run and a great friend of the Clarks,” said Clark of Freed. “He, in fact, was the presider at the wedding of my son and daughter-in-law, Will and Kristin Clark.”

This year’s proceeds will benefit the 92 orphans of the Makumbi Children’s Home in Zimbabwe and construction of the Sister Batsirai Cottage.

“The cottage will make a big difference in the lives of at least eight young women, ages 17 and 18, who have aged out of the orphanage,” Clark said.

According to Clark, Zimbabwe faces many challenges, including a 90 percent unemployment rate and a high poverty rate that renders young women susceptible to prostitution, sex trafficking and forced marriage.

In addition to races, the event includes T-shirt sales, a Zimbabwe Run Slam Poetry performance to the beat of drums, cultural booths and art exhibits.

The race entry fee is $5, free for those who cannot afford the fee.

For more information, visit ZimbabweParaguay.net.

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