On Saturday, June 7th, the nonprofit organization SHARE in Africa and its Ridge High School SHARE chapter gathered at Pleasant Valley Park for the first annual SHARE 5K Charity Race.
With 72 registered runners, 25 volunteers, $2,200 raised, and beautiful 67 degree weather, the event was deemed a huge success.
Plans and preparations for the race began over six months ago under the supervision of seniors Tiffany Chen and Sarah Phinney, co-president and vice president of the SHARE chapter at Ridge High School respectively.
The overall winner was16 year old Luke Malanga of Chatham, who kicked it home in 20:51.7 to finish first among runners who ranged from 9 to 56 years of age.
Stephanie Churchman of DeSales University similarly was unchallenged in women’s competition, clocking 22:40.5 for an overall 5th-place effort.
The event was followed by two live performances featuring Ridge High School seniors Sarah Matsuhima and Anil Salem, and photographed by SHARE volunteer, professional photographer, and 2012 Ridge High School alumnus Sean Kirby.
Proceeds from the race will go towards the SHARE Scholars Fund, which provides scholarships to girls in Africa who wish to pursue educational dreams.
SHARE in Africa is a 501(c)3 non-profit which empowers thousands of African girls through education. Shannon McNamara, a senior at Rice Univeristy, founded the charity when she was a Ridge High School freshman in 2008.
SHARE has created four libraries and established after-school reading programs to help girls become literate, installed electricity and solar power in three schools, and spread awareness about the educational gender-bias in African cultures to thousands of Americans. See shareinafrica.org for more information.