The Hope Project and Boardman’s track and cross country teams have partnered for the first ever Spartan 5K for Hope, which is scheduled to begin 10 a.m. today at Boardman High School.
Registration, which begins at 7:45 a.m., is $15 and includes a T-shirt. There is one race scheduled and is accessible for people of all types and ages, said Paulette Moore, Hope Project treasurer.
There are about 50 people signed up to race, but John Phillips, Boardman track and cross country head coach, said he expects there to be at least 75 come this morning.
“We consider it to be a successful first year,” Phillips said.
Phillips said the idea for the partnership came one day as he thought of fundraising ideas.
Moore is Phillips’ future mother-in-law and the two tossed around the idea and figured it would work.
“[The Hope Project] need funds as well,” Phillips said.
The event has several corporate and residential sponsors, and the money earned will be split down the middle between the two organizations.
“It’s a great cause and will be a lot of fun,” Moore said.
Money for the track and cross country team will be used for registration fees, equipment and warm-ups during the school year.
Money earned for The Hope Project, a non-profit corporation that helps West African nations recover from devastating effects caused by war and poverty, will go toward the organization’s next trip to Africa in October where they plan to drill a water well, Moore said. Recent pictures of drilled wells in Africa can be seen on The Hope Project’s Facebook page.
Every year they go on at least two trips — one in October and February — to Sierra Leone to teach classes, build schools, wells and tabernacles.
“It really blesses them,” said Tom Nuttall, Hope project board member. “It’s really a good thing.”
Nuttall said the organization has built up to 15 structures over the years.
He went with the group on the last trip and said he didn’t know what to expect. He slept in a 3-bedroom, 20-by-20 cement structure without running water. Every morning he and the group awoke and walked to the river with buckets to collect water to bring back. That was their water for bathing, showering and laundry, he said.
“The need for water [there] is just tremendous,” Nuttall said.
He’s going back in October to help build more structures in the West African nation.
Nuttall said he’s excited about the fundraiser and hopes the community begins to understand its importance.
“Our goal is to build on this,” Nuttall said.
“I think this will grow. We hope to make this a yearly event,” Moore said.
Anyone who wants to donate should make their checks payable to The Hope Project, and mail it to 2928 Whispering Pines Drive, Canfield, OH 44406. Moore will receive the checks, and donations are tax deductible, she said.