This year’s 5K for the Cedro Galán Clinic took place here in Nicaragua this past Saturday, March 18th. As a Program Director, this is an event I have heard about since beginning my work with Manna in July. From fundraising and crazy Program Director challenges, to training our women’s exercise team leaders and watching local community members pass the finish line the day of, the 5K is one of Manna’s most exciting and engaging events! 2017 marked the fourth year for our 5K, and was our most successful one to date.
The day began with an early start – registration for the event opened at 7:00 am at a local sports and recreation center. Race participants lined up the morning of to get their names checked off and receive their Manna 5K bandanas! Race participants included English students, local volunteers for our programs, Lacrosse the Nations’ players, health students, health promotors, and more! It was amazing to not only see participants from all our programs race, but also to see them bring new friends to support the cause!
This year we had 168 participants finish the race alongside family and friends. The overall winner for the day had an impressive time of 18:09. He was followed by our female winner of age 12. After all participants passed the finish line, they were greeted by music, games, photo booths, and food! It was a fun-filled afternoon where community members and staff of Manna got to spend time together in support of a common cause. Through their participation in the 5K, people living in Cedro Galán were able to directly serve their communities and their access to affordable health care.
A highlight of the day was partnering with local businesses who sponsored the event. This was the first year for many businesses in the surrounding area to show their support for Manna’s clinic. Whether it was through monetary donation or gifts and prizes for our winners, our local engagement was higher than it has ever been!
As our fourth annual 5K, we had high expectations for the event. Each year, the 5K has been an amazing way of supporting our clinic – bringing international communities together to practice, learn about, and celebrate health. Last year the race brought in $7.5K for the Cedro Galán Clinic. This year, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, Program Directors, and Manna followers, we raised $10,362!! With all the incredible donations, we raised above and beyond our dream goal. This is the result of the passion and support of all our donors, staff members, and race participants. The success of this year’s event speaks to the growth of our clinic, both in its capacity to provide care and its potential to grow in the future. This year’s 5K was a success in every aspect, and we are so excited to see the progression of the event in years to come.