Run For the Water – We Did, and Saved a Life (or two) in the Process.
When I first began my journey at INK Public Relations, one of the first questions discussed in my interview was about the company’s efforts towards non-profit campaigns and promoting local organizations in the Austin community. Relieved to hear INK has always shown a little love towards these efforts, I quickly stated my desire to continue the involvement. This fall, with the lead of former INKer and rock star Beth Williams, we became involved with an organization that has not only grown tremendously over the last five years since its inception, but is also near and dear to our staff’s hearts, and love of running.
Run for the Water is a 10 mile race (with a 5K and Kids 1K option) held every fall in Austin and is produced and managed by the Gazelle Foundation, an organization that implements charitable efforts to improve life for people in Burundi, in this case, clean drinking water for life. The money raised during this race goes directly to the cause to build wells and implement clean water systems in Burundi. If you are wondering what exactly that entails, just ask Michael Madison, who visited Burundi and saw first-hand this action come to life. The attention towards available resources has been brought to light recently with the world’s population surpassing 7 billion – it is time to pay attention, and Run for the Water is just one way to help.
INK managed the social media component of this program, encouraging runners to sign up and donate to the cause, as well as produced videos to help runners prepare for the race. It was inspiring to experience such a strong sense of community, both online and off, among the run’s participants and supporters. In close coordination with our friends at Sanders /Wingo, we helped raise the level of awareness in the community, as well as the state of Texas. After the team’s efforts, it feels good to say that Run for the Water surpassed its goal of 2,600 runners: more than 3,100 people registered to run, donating to the cause and providing clean drinking water (for life) to Burundians. Together, participants raised over $11,000 – all of which directly supports the Gazelle Foundation’s efforts.
Fellow INKer Jessica Warren and myself ran the course, with Blair Poloskey running the Kid’s 1K with her son, Jacob. With perfect weather and a great turnout, the 6AM Sunday wake-up call was hardly even noticed. This race continues to gain the support of the Austin community, INK PR included. If you have not read about the Gazelle Foundation or their involvement within Austin, check them out.