Benefit run for moms a success

By Frank Lewis

July 28, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Approximately 73 runners participated and around $7,500 was raised at the 5K Run and Walk for Moms July 19 at 9 p.m.

Organizer Carolyn Pettit said part of the money will go to Stepping Stone House and the remainder will go to build a maternity hospital in Malawi.

A severe thunderstorm a few hours prior to the start of the race kept several people who had planned on running away, but the storm broke and the weather was hospitable with much cooler temperatures.

“I actually thought it was very enticing to have a night race, especially last week when we were having such an awful heat wave,” Lejla Bilal of Columbus said. “It was very refreshing. I loved the course. I thought it was very liberating running across the bridge. I loved it. It was really well put together.”

Bilan finished first in her age group (20-29), and she plans to return for next year’s edition.

“Absolutely,” Bilal said. “Actually I’m involved in Partners in Health in Columbus, so I definitely try to stay involved in as many community events as I can. But definitely I will be at the run again.”

Bilal is the community coordinator for the Columbus Group, the counterpart to Pettit who performs the same duties in Portsmouth.

Partners In Health is helping build a maternity hospital in Malawi, where 15 percent of women die during pregnancy and childbirth. Seventy-five percent of the money will go to that effort. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds will be donated to Stepping Stone House, a residential alcohol and drug treatment program for women, designed to accommodate pregnant mothers and mothers with their children.

“We draw on the resources of the world’s leading medical and academic institutions and on the lived experience of the world’s poorest and sickest communities. At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone,” the Partners In Health website says. “When our patients are ill and have no access to care, our team of health professionals, scholars, and activists will do whatever it takes to make them well—just as we would do if a member of our own families or we ourselves were ill.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.