WILTON, Conn. – Hundreds of students from Wilton laced up their sneakers on Monday and raced one another to help save the lives of children throughout the world during the World Marathon Challenge, a global relay that raises funds and awareness for Save the Children.
A total of 306 Wilton students participated in the event and helped raise more $4,500 for the international nonprofit.
“We were thrilled when our numbers topped 240 last week, and then to end up with 306 [participants] for a first year launch is amazing,” said Wilton resident Jennifer Kendra, director of Strategic Partnership Development for Save the Children. “I think it shows that the idea of the event — kids running for kids and coming together as a town — really resonated with the students.”
Members of all the Wilton High School sports teams, as well as Wilton Youth Football, Wilton Youth Field Hockey and Youth Cheer, were among the students who participated in the event. Former NFL star Vince Workman served as event trainer, helping participants warm up before the race.
Dan Baird, captain of the high school boys’ lacrosse team, said he and his fellow student athletes were happy to do something they do on a regular basis — run — for a good cause.
“We’re becoming a part of a great tradition,” he said, referring to the World Marathon Challenge. “It’s a great thing that is helping kids all over the world.”
The Wilton race was one of many World Marathon Challenge events being held in more than 60 countries. Over 50,000 kids worldwide are estimated to participate in the event by the grand finale on Oct. 23.
Funds raised at each race will be used by Save the Children to provide child-focused interventions ranging from offering newborn care advice, to diagnosing and treating preventable diseases like diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria. The overall goal of the challenge is to raise $100,000.
“Every child in the United States and around the globe deserves the very best chance to live a bright future, but not every child gets this chance, the chance to survive and thrive,” said Carolyn Miles, president and chief executive officer of Save the Children. “Achieving this vision is not a sprint, but a marathon — a world marathon.”
For more information about the World Marathon Challenge, or to support a team, visit the World Marathon Challenge website.