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Vibha Dream Mile had a great day for a race

By Sanket Mehta
November 2013
Vibha Dream Mile had a great day for a race

 

 

5K walk begins, early morning! (Photos: Bytegraph)

 

 

Hundreds of volunteers and participants thronged Shakerag Park in the wee hours of Saturday September 21, 2013. The occasion: Vibha Atlanta’s 15th Annual Dream Mile. The purpose: to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of children across the globe.

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Registrants: over 1800!

In the last fourteen years, the Dream Mile has become a social catalyst for change and grass roots ideas that bring education, healthcare, and social betterment to the underprivileged child. The 2013 Dream Mile was no different. Over the weeks leading up to the trademark Vibha event, more than $120,000 was raised, enough to support 5000+ more children through 5 additional projects. Part of the proceeds is also given to the local beneficiary, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

As early as 5 am volunteers and participants began to arrive at the park exuding excitement. As the morning unfolded, the arena was packed with many bright faces: five-year-olds accompanying their parents with a smile and elementary schoolers quivering with anticipation for the start of the events. The beautiful day started off with the two running races, the Vensai Technologies 10K Run and the Datum Software 5K Run, followed by the Pyramid Consulting 5K Walk. The Vensai Technologies 10K Run was started off by Mr. Eddie Capel, CEO of Manhattan, while the Datum Software 5K Run and Pyramid Consulting 5K Walk were inaugurated by Mr. Sravan Vellanki, CEO of FutureTech, and Ramesh Maturu, CEO Pyramid Consulting, respectively. Hundreds of men, women, and children eagerly took to the trail with laughter and smiles. It was a picture perfect weekend getaway in John’s Creek.

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Zumba!

The Dream Mile was sponsored by Paramount Software and converted from idea to reality by hundreds of volunteers. Many months before the event, maps were laid out and goals projected on how to handle every aspect of the event with precision. From the publicity to the fundraiser targets to the registrations, this event happened because of the dedication of its coordinator and volunteers—volunteers who, despite their busy work life, spent hours at community events distributing pamphlets, or who, instead of spending time relaxing with high school friends, decided that going door to door in local neighborhoods was a more satisfying activity. As the Event Coordinator, Narsimha Rao Manekar put it across well along the lines of Mr. John Bingham's quote, “‘The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.’—We had record registrations of 1800+ this year. Vibha Atlanta had courage to start Dream Mile with 800 participants in 1998. I am proud to be part of the team."

A novel concept this year was athlete guides for each participant.

Volunteer of the Year Mrs. Priti Sarda, conveyed her feelings: “Vibha has fulfilled the cultural vacuum that I felt when we moved abroad. Over the 8 years I have been associated with Vibha, I have watched selfless volunteers devote hundreds of hours to motivate donors to contribute generously for a great cause. It has been a pleasure to organize youth volunteers and watch them blossom into great caring leaders.”

Results were phenomenal: 168 adults and children secured a trophy in the standings. For the Vensai Technologies 10K run, the CEO of Vensai Technologies, Srinivas Nimmagadda, and the President of GAPI, Dr. Piyush Patel, awarded prizes. Dhruv Gaur was the top male runner, and the top female winner was Valerie Shepp. Eddie Capel, the CEO of Manhattan and Latha Ganeshan, the CEO of Datum Software, awarded the prizes for the Datum Software 5K run race. Jonathan Gomez was the overall male winner and in the female running category, Rupa Chigurupati. In the Pyramid Consulting 5K walk, prizes were distributed by Ramesh Maturu, President of Pyramid Consulting, and Sravan Vellanki, CEO of Future Tech Consulting. Here, the male overall winner was Umapathy Natesan and the female champion was Nithya Reddy. Complete results can be found at www.dreammile.org/atlanta.

Website Bonus Feature

Photo Gallery

[Please note that the print and digital issues of this month's Khabar magazine contain a brief report of this event, whereas the website contains a more detailed report.]



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