‘An urge on my heart to help’

Hoofing it for Haiti 5K set for March 21

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

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HAMLET — Mary Catherine Coltrane looks around the Mary Ellen Kindley Fitness Trail and sees an opportunity.

She looks to her left and right and she sees a team. Members of her team, all of whom will help her achieve a multi-faceted goal of fulfilling her senior project requirements at Richmond Senior High School and to helping the less fortunate in the Republic of Haiti. The country’s economy is still struggling from a 2010 earthquake. Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas “with significant needs in basic services,” according to an overview from The World Bank, to wit: According to the latest household survey (ECVMAS 2012), more than 6 million out of 10.4 million (59 percent) Haitians live under the national poverty line of $2.44 per day and over 2.5 million (24 percent) live under the national extreme poverty line of 1.24 dollar per day

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Mary Catherine Coltrane, Jenna Staub and Grayson Campbell test out the Mary Ellen Kindley Fitness Trail at Richmond Community College.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Mary Catherine Coltrane, Jenna Staub and Grayson Campbell test out the Mary Ellen Kindley Fitness Trail at Richmond Community College.

Coltrane, a high school junior, said she was drawn to begin the Hoofing it for Haiti 5K run/walk, a charity event scheduled for March 21 on the fitness trail at Richmond Community College, when her mother, Rev. Allison Coltrane Farrah, and Rev. Mike Sykes. Sykes and Farrah, of First United Methodist Church in Rockingham, went to Haiti last summer. The goal of the 5K is two-fold: First, to help raise money to feed people in Haiti. Second. to raise awareness of Richmond County area residents about these struggles Haitians face on a daily basis.

Some Haitians, Coltrane, said, “need severe help.”

Farrah said through a lot of prayer between her and Sykes, a chance for their church to send an international mission team became possible.

Farrah said the church’s mission statement is “Love God, Love Others, Love the World.” She told The Pee Dee Post on Friday that, on the first two counts, the church is above average and then some but acknowledged that, despite financial support for others’ international missions, there was room for improvement on that third element.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Haiti mission team members include Lee Griffith, Mary Griffith, Joseph Griffith, Josh Griffith, Allison Farrah, Mary Catherine Coltrane, Paige Bailey, Melissa Staub, Jenna Staub, Maizey Peek, Rachel Jarrell, Cate Freeman and Grayson Campbell.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Haiti mission team members include Lee Griffith, Mary Griffith, Joseph Griffith, Josh Griffith, Allison Farrah, Mary Catherine Coltrane, Paige Bailey, Melissa Staub, Jenna Staub, Maizey Peek, Rachel Jarrell, Cate Freeman and Grayson Campbell.

Church officials “now feel especially challenged and called to expand our horizons on the third part,” Farrah said.

The goal was to recruit 12 people to make the trip to Haiti. A total of 27 people are currently on board for the trip, which takes place from July 7 to July 15. With church donations and personal fundraisers taking care of travel and lodging costs, 100 percent of the 5K entry fees will go towards purchasing rice, beans and oil for Haitian families.

Each $25 entry — $30 after March 12 — fee can feed a family for up to four weeks, Farrah said. The goal is to reach as many as 250 families during the nine-day trip.

Though the race is still five weeks away, Farrah said “we’re well on our way” to meeting the financial goals.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Rev. Allison Farrah, of First United Methodist Church, and daughter Mary Catherine Coltrane review the map at the trailhead of the Mary Ellen Kindley Fitness Trail at Richmond Community College.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Rev. Allison Farrah, of First United Methodist Church, and daughter Mary Catherine Coltrane review the map at the trailhead of the Mary Ellen Kindley Fitness Trail at Richmond Community College.

The team to Haiti will be led by Butch Hoffman. Sykes and Farrah top the list of 13 adults, along with Jim Entwistle, Lee Griffith, Mary Griffith, Paige Bailey, Paige Simmons, Tanya Wallace, Glenda Sherrill, Nelson Sheppard, Melissa Staub, Jonathan Jeffries and Kelly Wheeler. Two college students — Taylor Smith and Patrick Ledford — will join 10 other youth, including Coltrane, Jenna Staub, Rachel Jarrell, Maizey Peek, Cate Freeman, Grayson Campbell, Austin Campbell, Joseph Griffith, Josh Griffith and Sarah Catherine Jeffries.

The course will include at least one loop of the 0.67-mile trail and likely other parts of the RCC campus, Farrah said. It will be designed and measured by Peter Asciutto of Albemarle-based Vac & Dash.

A Google Maps image shows the Republic of Haiti positioned southeast of Cuba.

A Google Maps image shows the Republic of Haiti positioned southeast of Cuba.

Filed in: Featured News, Hamlet, Latest Headlines, Outdoors, Religion, Sports

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