The big beneficiaries of the on-going second running boom have been charities. Nearly $1 billion was raised last year for a wide variety of causes through American road races alone. I am proud to be part of a 501C3 charity called the Entoto Foundation (Entoto.org) which is dedicated to bringing medical care and treatment to Ethiopians for whom such care is otherwise unavailable.
Our founder and president, Rich Jayne, who was producer and lead cameraman for Elite Racing events through hundreds of road races over the last 20 years, is on his way home from a six-week visit to Ethiopia. Here’s his latest report.
My flight home was delayed a day so I’m not leaving Ethiopia until tonight. Yesterday Dr. Einar Eriksen showed us around his burn unit at the Korean Hospital here in Addis. A fellow Norwegian also runs the trauma unit. They spent about two hours with us, and it was very informative. Both doctors spent their early childhoods in Ethiopia, and both have returned to try to fill a massive void in Ethiopian health care. Dr Kiplesund showed us his soon to be finished Intensive Care Unit with eight beds – once complete it will double the number of ICU beds in the country. 85 million people – currently eight beds.
Among those most active contributors to the Entoto Foundation are Ethiopian runners we have befriended over the years. Like Toby Tanser’s shoe4africa.org/ outreach in Kenya, which many of the great Kenyan runners support (see Janeth Jepkosgei on left), the Entoto Foundation has enlisted the assistance of people like Meseret Defar, one of Ethiopia’s greatest stars.
Olympic and World Champion, world record holder, Mezzy also serves as a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Goodwill Ambassador.
Meseret cheering on her daughter Lydia at Dr. Einar’s fund-raiser (Lydia is 3 1/2 years-old and ran eight laps)
Meseret with a burn patient from Lalibela.
In other Entoto news,
Supporters Attempt London Marathon to Raise Critical Funds for Entoto Foundation
On April 17, Stephen Day (left) and Craig Slinn (right) will be running the 2011 Virgin London Marathon to raise critical funds for Entoto. Stephen, a former pole-vaulter, and Craig, a former football (American soccer) player, have now set their athletic sights on running the “big one”, London. However, the race has extra meaning for them because they will be raising money to help those less fortunate in Ethiopia. Both Stephen and Craig hope to run the marathon in about 4 hours. Support their effort with a donation towards their run.
Go to Entoto.org to contribute or look further into the work of the Entoto Foundation.