BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA: “Kids Help Kids” a 3K Race at the East Cobb Park was organized by Veda Balaji and her friends on June 22, 2013. The event was a fundraiser to help those who were affected by the tornado during May 2013 in Oklahoma. All proceeds from the event were donated to Save the Children. Over a hundred people participated in the race and the event raised well over two thousand dollars for the cause.
With a total of 104 participants the Winners of Kids race were Jayanth Kumar (first place) and Gaurav Krishnan (second place). Winners were awarded a $120 Road runners Gift Card for shoes. Winners in the Adult category were Pawan Vaddu (first place ) and Riley O’Neill (second place). Winners from Adults were awarded a “New balance” Gift card.
Kids also managed to find sponsors to support their event, some in cash, others in kind. SunRay Enterprise, Inc donated $150 and Kumon Marietta- Kennesaw Mountain donated $100 to Save the Children. A bake sale was sponsored by Iron Dragon Martial arts. Publix and Kroger supplied water bottles. Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts supplied donuts.
A raffle ticket gift basket was also handed out. Kevin Hebert took home the basket for Boys, Varsha Ramachandr, won the basket for girls, and Kathy DeOliveria took home the Family basket. The Family basket was loaded with movie tickets, Restaurant card and other goodies, the Boys’ and Girls’ basket with toys, and gift cards for ice cream.
The idea was conceptualized by 11 year old Veda, who was deeply moved by those affected by the Tornado in Oklahoma. She told her parents that she wanted to help and the Balaji family rallied with Veda to create an event that would encourage participation from kids and adults. The race seemed like a good idea and soon friends and neighbors pitched in. Flyers, a Facebook page and brochures were created. “Veda wanted to make sure her younger brother Amit could also participate in the race hence the 3K”, explained her parents, Vani and Balaji.
With a 5 $ entrance fee for the race and some money collected by asking around, Balajis believe a lots of life lessons were learnt by the kids. But ultimately the joy they derived from working for a cause sure will make this a summer to be remembered! Rabindranath Tagore rightly said, “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”