When Drs. George Sarantos and his lovely wife, Melissa, joined Kiwanis, they quickly took up a particular cause: the Eliminate Project. “When you join a philanthropic organization like Kiwanis, you know something will come along to touch your heartstrings. We knew the Eliminate Project was where we wanted to concentrate our efforts,” said George.
Kiwanis International and UNICEF have joined forces to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT). This disease kills more than 60,000 newborns and a significant number of mothers each year as well. MNT is known for repeatedly sending tiny newborns into painful convulsions. It makes them overly sensitive to touch and to light. To wipe out MNT, more than 100 million mothers and their future babies need to be immunized. It is a global effort.
George and Melissa explained: “We wanted to bring the Eliminate Project local, raising awareness and hopefully have some fun and raise money at the same time. We had the idea for a 5K Fun Run/Walk where everyone could participate including families. Last year’s inaugural event was successful. Everyone had a great time! We hope this year’s race is even more fun and draws even more entrants.”
The race drew entries from across the state last year. The race was an instant success partially due to its location — the start and end of the race at Tigertail Beach. “The course winds through the beautiful, serene Hideaway Beach area, and many commented on it being such a nice course. We appreciate Hideaway Beach participating again this year!” Melissa added.
The race will be held at Saturday, October 4. Race registration is open at 6:30 AM, and the Fun Run/Walk begins at 8:00 AM. Detailed race information can be found at www.marcoislandkiwanis5k.com. Preregistration will get you an entry fee discount, go to www.runsignup.com.
Special thanks to Collier County Parks and Recreation, Hideaway Beach, Endurance Sports for handling the timing and scoring, and Condee Cooling and Electric for providing water. All proceeds will benefit the Eliminate Project.