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More than 130 participants run through Mary S. Young Park to raise funds for kids in Kenya



"Pamoja Tunaweza."

That's the Swahili phrase boldly printed on the T-shirts worn by the 130 runners Saturday in the fourth-annual Run to Mtulu Youth Color Fun Run, which was held this year in Mary S. Young Park.

In English the phrase means "together we can do it," which run organizer Missy McConkie says was the whole point of the fun run.

"That's what this event shows," she said. "When a community comes together, we can have a huge impact for good in the world."

The fun run, which is part of the Kenya Keys program, is intended to be an opportunity for local children to learn about what life is like for children growing up in Kenya. The run itself is meant to replicate the distance Kenyan children must travel to school each day and the dangers they encounter on the way, including coming upon snakes and elephants.

The event also includes displays of arts, crafts and tools made by Kenyans.

This year, the weather helped set the stage for local children, too. Temperatures were in the high 70s Sunday afternoon, which is typical Kenyan weather this time of year.

"It was such a wonderful event," said McConkie, who has organized the Color Run since its inception for Kenya Keys. "The weather was gorgeous, so there was plenty of time for people to stay and learn a bit about what Kenya Keys does and what life is like for kids in Kenya."

Attendees at the event had opportunities to learn more about Kenyan life through exhibits of items from one of the villages that Kenya Keys supports. There were also hand-carved items from Kenya for sale at the event.

"Our goal for this event was $5,500, and we raised just over $6,200," McConkie said. "We had all ages of people running, from 4-year-old kids all the way up to adults. It was fun to see kids get out and be active and share the positive energy. At the very least, people were given a chance to reflect on what their own education means to them and how lucky we are to have such wonderful schools in our community."

Proceeds from the event will be used to rebuild a dormitory at Taru High School in Kenya, one of the schools Kenya Keys supports. To learn more, visit www.kenyakeys.org.

Contact Lake Oswego review reporter Barb Randall at 503-479-2374 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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