kids walk for kids photostory

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  • 1.
    • Sara Fender (lower left) talks to participant Jasmine Price (lower right) as she registers for the Kids Walk for Kids Saturday morning, Nov. 3, 2007 in the Robins Center at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. Registration for the 5th annual Walk-a-thon began at 8:30 a.m., as Clintonya Cooper (top left) and Lynne Edwards (top right) signed in walkers and collected the money they raised to benefit Coordinators 2 Inc., a non-profit adoption agency in Richmond, Virginia. Prices mother, Rebecca Ricardo, is the executive director of the agency. Cooper and Edwards are the directors of finance and the family support program.
  • 2. One family (from left to right), George, Lillie and Deborah Izo, enjoy their breakfast of coffee and donuts donated by Starbucks and Ukrops before the walk. Lillie Izo, 10, was adopted from China when she was four months old. George Izo, who tied the record for the longest touchdown pass in NFL history while a Washington Redskins quarterback, said his daughter is both a singer and dancer and sends money back to her orphanage to help the other kids. She raised $100 for the walk but is already setting the bar higher to raise more money for next year.
  • 3.
    • Olivia Horn stares up at her dad, Bryan Horn (not pictured), before the walk after he showed her a sign on the stadium door that said they would be walking 14 laps around the Robins Center concourse to complete the 2-mile event. Bryan Horn said Olivia, who turns five this month, and her brother, Marco, were adopted from Guatemala through Coordinators 2 Inc. If I could adopt all of them, I would, he said, but he only has room for two. He emphasized that the event, which his law firm helped sponsor, is tied to a very important issue. He noted that adoption needs support, as not many people are aware that the Guatemalan government has been interfering in adoptions, and UNICEF is against adoption too.
  • 4.
    • Walkers begin their first lap as the event began at 9 a.m. They circled around the corridor surrounding the University of Richmond basketball court, many wearing matching Kids Walk for Kids t-shirts. The back of the t-shirts showed the sponsors: Wachovia Securities (gold sponsor), Chick-fil-A and McDonalds (silver), and Ukrops and Starbucks (bronze). Around 40 kids and their parents participated, which was slightly fewer than the 125 children that participated last year. Some schools signed up but did not come, and no Richmond students came as it was hoped they would. But the mood and energy level were not dampened, and goals were merely set higher, like Lillies, for next year.
  • 5.
    • One boy, Timothy, who proudly announced that he beat a 41-year-old man, runs his laps. To his right, Olivia Horn dashes ahead of her dad, Bryan, Horn, like many of the energetic kids did before their parents carried them.
  • 6.
    • The concourse was bustling with activity as the walkers marched to the finish. While waiting for everyone to complete their laps, Spidey, the University of Richmond mascot, jokes around with Olivia Horn (left) and Kendall Davis (right) while others rest in the background after their 2-mile trek. Spidey represented UR and came out for the walk to play with all of the kids, giving them high fives and letting them sit on his lap during the magic show.
  • 7.
    • Magician Roger Williams performs a card trick with the help of four eager volunteers. Once everyone completed their laps, Williams entertained the crowd with a magic show.
  • 8.
    • Walkers rest and enjoy the presentation following the walk. After the magic act, chairman Ben Heller (second from right) began the awards ceremony by playing the national anthem on his saxophone. Participants received certificates based on the amount of money that they raised, which totaled $15,000. The board of directors of Coordinators 2 Inc., the agency that the proceeds benefit, was also introduced.
  • 9.
    • In addition to certificates, all participants received a cup, a pencil, a McDonalds gift card, a backpack and a stuffed animal, as held here by Meredith (center) and Kate Cropley (right), from various tables set up in the Robins Center concourse. At this table, Karen Davis (left) helps the sisters make bracelets.
  • 10.
    • Ben Heller (right), the walk chairman, shows his dad, Dan Heller, a member of the Coordinators 2 Inc. board of directors, a check he received. Ben took on the role of chairperson from his sister, Erin, who originally thought of the walk-a-thon, since she is away at college at Virginia Tech. The 13-year-old raised $7,658 for the walk this year (more than half of the total), with $4,158 from private donations and $3,500 from corporate sponsors. Starting at the end of September, Ben Heller got contributions from 13 different states by knocking on neighbors doors, making phone calls and sending letters.
  • 11.
    • Bens mother, Nancy Heller (left), looks on as Sharon Richardson (second from right), the agency placement program director, hugs Deborah Izo (second from left) while her daughter, Lillie Izo (far right), surveys her prizes. Richardson, who presided over the award ceremony, said to parents, Thanks for teaching your kids there is a way to help others.
  • 12.
    • Participants help pack up after two hours of festivities by carrying boxes out of the Robins Center, as Kristen Ball (third from right), mother of Meredith and Kate Cropley, member of the Coordinators 2 board of directors, and Associate Registrar, Curriculum, and Publication at the University of Richmond, loads them into the car. Last year, the proceeds of all of the participants efforts placed eight children, and it is hoped that their dedication will give the same chance to other kids to have their lives changed this year.