Utahns unite to raise funds for Yolanda survivors

By Jared Bray, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Jan. 28, 2014

PROVO, UT – Provo’s Center Street is usually used to get in and out of the city’s downtown area, but recently, it was used to get help halfway around the world to survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines.

For an entire afternoon, the popular roadway featured charity 5K and 10K races, a multi-band concert, and Philippine cuisine.

“We know that was a big tragedy that happened, so we’re just trying to show our support in the best way we can here in Utah,” 5K participant Christa Ruiz said.

The event, which was officially called “Run 4 Philippines,” was put together by two Utah natives, Jaron and Chris Gallagher.

“Chris wanted to make a difference, and I’ve been doing events for a long time, so we just decided to collaborate and throw a 5K and 10K races to raise money for the relief efforts taking place out in the Philippines,” Jaron Gallagher said.

After promoting the event for more than a month, Gallagher said he was pleased with its turnout and estimated that it raised about $20,000.

“The turn-out was awesome,” he said. “We couldn’t have asked for more. We had about 600 people run. In the winter, that is awesome.”

Although several of the people who participated in the races don’t have ties to the Philippines, they were excited to be a part of the effort.

“I found out about the event through social media, and it looked like a great cause and a great way to come out and make a difference,” 5K participant Alyssa Crabb remarked.

Another runner, Shered Stobbe said, “It’s great. I’m glad to help out. A small amount can go a long way to help other people, so I’m glad I could be a part of it.”

The proceeds from the event will be given to Globus Relief International to use for food, water, and reconstruction efforts in Tacloban.

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