Running for charity

“I liked fundraising for something where I’m really pushing myself,” said Laurier fourth-year Geoff Capelle of his initiative to run the ING New York City Marathon this weekend with a group of runners from Waterloo Region.

No stranger to fundraising, Capelle raised about $1,000 for Camp Oochigeas, a Toronto summer camp for kids battling cancer, when he ran the Sporting Life 10-kilometre run in the spring of 2009.

“It’s definitely been a personal challenge to do this running and get in shape,” said Capelle, noting that each time he decides to raise money, he combines fundraising for different causes with the personal challenge of completing a longer run.

After volunteering in an Indian orphanage with the organization Families for Children (FFC) on two separate occasions, Capelle decided he would use running the New York City Marathon on Nov. 7 as a means to collect donations for the Canadian non-profit organization.

“I’m just so in love with this orphanage that it was a really easy decision to want to fundraise and do this marathon for them,” said Capelle, who is on track to complete a double major in global studies and sociology with a minor in economics this April.

Founded in 1971 by Canadian Sandra Simpson, FFC is a private non-profit organization that operates orphanages in Bangladesh and India. For her work with children, Simpson received the Ontario Medal and the Order of Canada.

Volunteering at FFC’s Indian orphanage in 2005 and again in 2008, Capelle describes it as an “incredible place” where all children are well cared-for and included, noting the organization’s lack of religious affiliation and its mandate of hiring local staff to facilitate operations.

Capelle has been raising awareness and garnering funds through friends, Facebook and by telling his story to the local media.

He heads to New York on Nov. 5 with runners from Waterloo’s Running Room and Runner’s Choice stores.

“Runners seem to be a really happy group of people,” said Capelle, looking forward to a positive, energy-filled weekend.

“I like [running], I love New York City and it’ll be great to see the city from a different perspective,” he said. “I’m kind of excited for it.”

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