About one year ago, the inaugural Spartan Run for Hope started in Boardman to raise money for the people of West Africa.
At that time, The Hope Project treasurer Paulette Moore predicted it would be the first Run for Hope of many.
''We know how the valley rallies around great causes,'' she said.
Special to the Town Crier
A water well drilled last year through the Boardman Run for Hope proceeds. It is located on the grounds of an elementary school in Kenema, Sierra Leone.
This year, Moore and the rest of the project committee got their wish. On July 19, the second annual Spartan Run for Hope will be held at Boardman High School.
There will be a 5K race starting at 9 a.m., but unlike last summer, both men and women will run one race. Though there are plenty of racers, Moore said there is always room for extra legs.
Like the initial Run for Hope, this year's proceeds benefit the Hope Project. The more participants, the more money for the people of developing countries.
The Hope Project is a non-profit organization that rebuilds countries in West Africa devastated by civil war and poverty. The organization builds structures used as schools, churches and clinics.
The second annual Spartan Run for Hope will concentrate on raising money to drill water wells for the people of Sierra Leone. Unfortunately, many women do not have fresh water to drink, clean with or cook with.
Sadly, that lack of liquid trickles down to the children.
Thanks to donations made last year, three new fresh water wells were drilled on the grounds of an elementary school in Kenema, Sierra Leone.
Each of the wells were $10,000, and that included pouring cement pad and a hand pump. Pumping extra dollars into that community affords all of the inhabitants of Sierra Leone, especially the young ones, the luxury of fresh water.
''The need for clean water is paramount,'' explained Moore. ''There has been an outbreak of Ebola virus, so safe drinking water is needed more now than ever. We need to raise funds for the new wells. Our ability to raise these funds for fresh water is critical.''
A few local businesses have donated funds to aid the Run For Hope effort, and monies raised by personal donations and entry fees will help, too.
Awards will be handed out to the top finishers at the 5K race on July 19. Registration forms can be found at Second Sole in Boardman, the Boardman YMCA and on the website at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moore urges everyone in the community to register or at least donate time and / or money so the people of Sierra Leone don't have to go without one of Earth's most precious commodities. She is also getting ready to help organize the third annual Spartan Run for Hope.
''We are hoping to continue the run as a way to raise awareness about the Hope Project,'' she said.