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Over 1000 join Vibha’s Dream Mile 5K Walk/Run

November 2008
Over 1000 join Vibha’s Dream Mile 5K Walk/Run

The race, held on the morning of Sept. 27, witnessed enthusiastic walkers, runners and volunteers making every bit of effort to bring cheer to less privileged children in the United States and India.

The event raised close to $50,000, which will support the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Georgia and Alabama and child development projects for poor children in India.

Registrations started at 7 a.m., followed by a warm up session with Priya Chellani of Aarti Fitness, a personal training studio in Atlanta. The race was flagged off by actress Michelle Massey (lead actress of the film Blind Ambition). Well-known music bands Clusters of Grey and Sham-e-Sargam entertained the crowd by performing live pop/rock and Bollywood hits. Vibha also organized a series of children’s activities including face painting, balloon art, bead art, sudoku and a drawing competition.

An interesting blend of professional and amateur runners made the occasion more fascinating. In the Men’s category, Alec Ausley was the first to finish the run in 17:32 minutes, followed by Joseph Stowe, who finished in 18:02 mins. The Dream Mile walk was led by Edara Chandrashekara Rao, followed by Shiv Udutha. In the Women’s category, the leader was Lori Palmer, who finished the run in 21:33 mins, closely followed by Marilyn Suleta who finished in 22:11 mins. Veena Venkatraman followed by Madhuri Vemulapalli led the Dream Mile Walk in the Women’s category.

The spirit of the event was best summed up by Shirley Jones, who has adopted a Shikshana school in Karnataka: “I have run the Dream Mile for the last three years and Vibha has my compliments as the race was always well organized. I believe in giving a chance to the child to become a better social contributor than what the child’s social and economic status has mapped out for them.”

The chief guest of the event, Harsha Agadi, CEO, Church's Chicken, lauded Vibha’s commitment to the cause of the health and education of poor children as “extremely noteworthy.”

Vibha Atlanta also introduced its new initiative, Vibha-Youth in Atlanta, aimed at encouraging middle and high schoolers to volunteer. The objective of this initiative is to inspire youth to contribute toward the development of less privileged children, and also give them the platform to hone their leadership skills through volunteering for such causes.

Vibha Atlanta raised close to $50,000 which will support The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Georgia and Alabama, and child development projects for less privileged children in India. Vibha is currently supporting close to 40 projects. A detailed description of the projects is available at www.vibha.org/projects.

Vibha also recognized the contribution of volunteers Sreekanth Pannala, Syam Yellamraju, Rao Manekar, Shiv Udutha, Sreedevi Udutha, Samir Patel (GT) and Murali Padala (GT). Keshav Kumaran won the Volunteer of the Year award for his long-standing contribution towards Vibha.

Atlanta’s leading corporate names made a significant contribution by sponsoring the event: Manhattan Associates, Equifax, Shalin Financial Services, Kroger, Delta Information Systems, Pyramid Consulting, Primus Software Corporation, ProActive Resources, LARABAR, Leact, Spunge Organic Cotton, CETS of Alpharetta, Ben Parker Construction, JDH Developers, and Manekar Medical Clinics. The media sponsors for the event were wownow.com, Khabar, and India Tribune.

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