On Sunday, September 20th, 2009, over 500 community members participated in the BAPS Charities Walkathon, supporting ‘United We Serve’, a national effort launched by President Obama to engage Americans in serving their communities this summer. In keeping with its Walkathon theme, “Building a Better Community, One Step at a Time”, part of the proceeds from this year's Walkathon will go to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
“This summer, I'm calling on all of you to make volunteerism and community service part of your daily life and the life of this nation,” said President Obama in a video message. “Economic recovery is as much about what you're doing in your communities as what we're doing in Washington – and it’s going to take all of us, working together.”
“We are pleased to join this national effort and thank the President for making this call to service,” said Nilkanth Patel, President of BAPS Charities. “BAPS Charities is taking part in ‘United We Serve’ by organizing nearly 125 community service events including health fairs, blood donation drives, health awareness campaigns and walkathons like this one all across the country.”
“Children, teens, and adults from all across Atlanta put aside their busy schedules and walked with their friends and family to serve the local community,” said Anand Mehta, Vice President of BAPS Charities. “We thank all the participants for raising money for this important organization that provides quality medical care for children in our community.”
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is a local organization composed of hospitals and outpatient clinics that strives to enhance the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education.
The 5K Walkathon, held in Lilburn, Ga inspired people to go the extra mile to make a difference in someone’s life.
Vasu Patel, 12, raised money by going around his neighborhood. He and many of his friends were among the first waiting in line for the kickoff. As the ribbon was cut, they dashed past it with enthusiasm, already a step ahead of their parents.
“As a kid, I know how it feels to be hospitalized,” he said, recalling his trip to the hospital after a head injury. “I just want to raise money for them.”
The event’s grand sponsors were Panoz Auto Development Company and Equus Automotive, who made a sizable contribution to Children’s Healthcare. Representatives of both companies cut the ribbon, marking the event’s traditional kickoff.
Joining the grand sponsors was Mr. Charles Bannister, Chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners. Mr. Bannister thanked the participants for their time and efforts in supporting the local community through charitable work.
Over 35 BAPS Charities centers across North America will hold walkathons in their region. The annual Walkathon is one of many initiatives that BAPS Charities takes to support local communities. Throughout the year, BAPS Charities hosts medical fairs, education and career development seminars, blood drives and much more. BAPS Charities sincerely serves the community, by improving the quality of life of individuals and families. For information, please visit www.bapscharities.org