Fundraiser for mission has grown

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A fundraiser for an annual church mission has become a community event.

"There has been such community support. It started off with just our church doing it," said Janis Collins, the publicity chairwoman for the 11th annual Bolivia Benefit Run/Walk, scheduled for Oct. 11 at Riverview Park in North Augusta.

There are about 400 runners and walkers, and dozens of volunteers help with scoring, giving out prizes and urging on runners at the cheer stations.

A one-mile children's run will begin at 8 a.m., followed by the run at 8:30 and the walk at 8:45. There will be a tot trot for ages 4 and younger.

The event raises money to support Grace United Methodist Church's mission trip to Bolivia each year.

For 14 years, construction and medical teams from Grace United have alternated taking weeklong visits during the summer to help poor Bolivian natives living in the Andes Mountains, she said.

Trips have been to various villages, Ms. Collins said.

"We told the church in Bolivia to send us to where they needed us," she said.

The groups have been to places where others would not go. Usually, the villages are about seven hours away from the airport in La Paz.

In 2009, a construction team will travel to the South American nation, she said.

Proceeds from the fall event and a spring golf tournament will help to offset the cost of building materials.

Applications are still being accepted for the construction team, Ms. Collins said.

The entry fee for the run/walk is $15 before Wednesday and $17 after; registration for the tot trot and children's run is $10 before Wednesday and $12 after.

For more information, call (803) 279-7525.


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