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It’s the Year of the Warthog at the 20th Annual Run for Zimbabwe Orphans and Fair

Ellie Clark participating in the kindergarten 1/2 mile run at last year’s event.

My name is Colton Colonna and I am a senior at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View. It is my pleasure and honor to be one of the student ambassadors for a fantastic organization: The Sustainable Living Foundation. It is also my pleasure to introduce the organization’s upcoming event: The 20th Annual Run for Zimbabwe orphans and Fair. Every year this great organization conducts this quality fair in a way which encourages children and young teenagers to participate in activities to provide aid to orphans in Zimbabwe. The whole fair allows children and teens the opportunity to fulfill our mission and to live out our motto of: BE FIT! CREATE ART! HELP OTHERS!

During our fair, we host a variety of activities including a fun run for all ages, an art competition for the creative children in elementary school through high school and several booths to educate participants of living conditions in Zimbabwe. Our races have a range of distances for each grade. We start our exciting events with our famous 220 yard Preschool dash, followed by our half mile kindergarten run. Lastly, we have our mile runs for grades 1-8 and a final run for high schoolers and adults. All the runs are led by our group of mascots. Finisher ribbons are presented to each participant and top three finishers receive a trophy stuffed with authentic Zimbabwe money! Team trophies are also presented to the top schools in each race. Our art competition is just as exciting! Elementary school participants and high school students that want to express their creative side have a wonderful opportunity to do so. Art is judged by grade and all levels of experience are invited to take part. Winners for each grade receive a stuffed warthog, which is our mascot for this year! Our competitions are only a small part of our amazing atmosphere. Around our fair, music and food from Zimbabwe are available to enjoy. The band, Sadza, will play at this year’s event from 2-3 p.m. Booths are set up around the fair for those inclined to broaden their knowledge about the unique culture of Zimbabwe. 

The main purpose of this fair is to provide aid to orphans in Zimbabwe. The Sustainable Living Foundation sponsors the orphanage, Makumbi Children’s Home. The money donated at this year’s fair will go to young entrepreneurs who have “graduated” from the orphanage to help them open their own businesses or further their education. Each of these teens will receive a micro- grant of around three hundred dollars in order to achieve their goals. The teens graduating this year are Ablant Tinashe, Annah Chizhanje, Chipo Mutero, Tanyaradzwa Chikoza, Charity Tinashe, and Tafadzwa Combo. Donations will also be utilized to repair the eight cottages that house the orphans. These repairs will include new: electrical outlets, roofing, and plumbing. 

Our fair takes place on April 7, Noon to 4 p.m. at Saint Joseph School, 1120 Miramonte Ave., Mountain View. Entry fees for each of the races is five dollars. The art contest is free to enter.  For more information, visit our website www.ZimbabweParaguay.net.  There, you will be able to contribute to the cause. Any amount is welcome. Also, if you have questions, be sure and contact Meet Director Mrs. Ellen Clark with questions about the event at zpclarks@comcast. I can also be reached at coltoncolonna@sfhs.com for questions as well. Thank you all for your future support!