West Side News

Run for Living Water 5K

Race will pay for drinking-water well in Nicaragua

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A group of central Ohio students will host a "fun run" this spring to raise money to provide clean drinking water in one of the world's largest countries.

Inspired to address the leading cause of death worldwide -- a lack of access to safe drinking water -- 13 Upper Arlington High School freshmen decided to organize a 5K run to pay for a well in Nicaragua.

The Run for Living Water 5K race will begin at 8 a.m. May 10 at Scioto Audubon Metro Park, 400 W. Whittier St. in Columbus.

Registration can be completed online at premierraces. com.

Donations also can be made online at www.water.cc.

The group -- which consists of UAHS freshmen Matt Barnes, Reed Davis, Jack Easton, Grant Hartman, Chad Lewis, Will Lhota, Will Mason, Nathan Orlandini, Andrew Owens, John Roehrs, Will Sears, Jack Schadek and Jack Weaver -- hopes to raise $5,000 through entry fees and sponsorships.

The money will go to Living Water International, a faith-based organization that drills wells in developing nations around the world in communities that need clean drinking water.

Living Water International will use the funds from this 5K to drill a well for people in Nicaragua.

"We know (Living Water) is a credible organization and that it's very important for people to have access to clean water," Schadek said. "We've seen the impact one little well can have on a whole village."

Active in Bible study groups, the students were further spurred to organize a charitable event by Easton, whose mother, Liz Easton, has participated in several missionary trips throughout the world.

Liz Easton took her son to El Salvador on her most recent mission, which compelled him to convince his classmates to help others in need.

"It was a ton of fun," Jack Easton said. "The experience was great. I worked with the natives in El Salvador and helped out with digging a well. I just wanted to help out."

Those who register for the fun run in advance can participate for a $25 fee. The fee is $30 per person the day of the race.

The group also is seeking event sponsors, with opportunities to support at levels ranging from $150 to $1,000.

Prospective sponsors can visit the event websites or call Melanie Orlandini at 614-485-0630 for more information, or to provide company and contact information.

"This is the first time we've organized a run," Schadek said. "The more people who come, the better. We're open to everyone who wants to participate. It's a pretty relaxed run, and we'll probably have a lot of walkers."

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