On December the 8th we held our third NYC Shoe4Africa 5k in Riverside park, Manhattan. The event was sponsored by the strong support of T-Mobile & Samsung. For the third year in a row we had a sell out field. We were really happy to have around 200- T-Mobile entrants coming to join us and run. Special thanks to Eddie Stern who sponsored our Kid’s Mile, a new event. His son Ezra was the race director for that event! The event was aired on the YES Network for RUNNING HD throughout January – thanks Amby S., and featured with 1/2 page AD’s in the New York Post, thanks David B.
The race was a great success and we completely sold out a week before with 500-entrants and over 100-kids (max for the park size). Thanks to all who made it a great day to remember. Thanks to Larry Sillen for the photos.
DEC 13th: We were very proud to open the Shoe4Africa classrooms in Kibugat Primary School, a small public school near Tinderet (See below September). I tricked Chelimo (above), telling her we were traveling (6-hr round trip) to go and see another event. When we arrived on site she was ‘surprised’ to find out she was actually the Chief Guest (for Shoe4Africa) and would open the classrooms. They were named Marjorie & Malcolm Myers, and the William Morogo Saina & Ruth Jepchirchirstudy rooms.
Al Jazeera mentioned us along with NIKE for their life of a shoe program. Honored to be amongst such vaulted company. They ran an animated ‘Life of a Shoe’ story and this was the ending slide.
Very proud of the people who stood up to run and support Shoe4Africa in the NYC Marathon. We had a team of around 50-runners who laced up their shoes and completed the 26.2 miles around the city, raising monies for a cause thousands of miles away. Thank you to all the people who played their part and last, but very certainly not the least, to PEPSICO who supported and sponsored our team – we are honored. On the day before the race Pepsico hosted the pre-run and special breakfast as runners donned their Pepsico/S4Africa shirts
It was a period of time-out and I do apologize if you tried to communicate during this month as Shoe4Africa really dropped out of the E-world for two weeks. Many emails were not answered, requests etc and letters were not checked – I feel very bad. On Oct. 7th I had a bad accident and required brain surgery, the troubles continued (still continue) but the great news that I am really proud of is that the two main projects I was working on at the time continued to go on. Bills were paid, work was checked, all operated as normal and in fact some key players did not even know of the disruption (as it should be). Thus although October was a ‘time-out’ month it also showed that we did operate, in full, given that we don’t (yet) have a staff!
The lesson, the big one, that I take forward for Shoe4Africa is that things must change and I have now a plan to ‘make a staff’ get things organized better because I truly believe what we are doing should continue… in the face of any upcoming adversity. Thanks for hanging with us…
Kibugat Primary. In August I had visited Kibugat Primary and they had asked me for assistance. I had really wished to refuse, the school committee said, “We have been waiting since 1980 for someone like you to help.” I questioned, “How many people have been through this school, have you ever thought to galvanize your alumni, ask those who now have jobs?” Imagine the current Dep. Gov. of Nandi County, a top Nairobi Lawyer, plus my friend the DC of Keiyo South all went to this school. I even suggested building a Nandi Cultural centre that other schools could visit as this was near the site where the Nandi fought the British in the long battle for Independence. Somehow I committed to S4A building some classrooms, and in September work began:
On the 21st of August we had the laying the foundation stone ceremony. A momentous day for us. I invited as many denominations as possible and we had a Hindu, a Muslim, a Catholic & a Christian come and give us blessings before the stone went down, into place.
On the 14th, in Eldoret we held the 3rd annual Shoe4Africa Maruge Sports & Friendship day. The competition was between Shoe4Africa Janeth Jepkosgei & Shoe4Africa Moses Kiptanui. The first up was volley ball and Janeth’s girls won 3-0 although watching the match it looked a lot closer. Then in the football match it looked like Kiptanui was going to take revenge taking a 1-0 lead, but then came the comeback. Janeth’s school scored twice to take the day’s title. We then had the prizes and the schools competed for som prizes and were awarded gifts for other ‘talents’ (Janeth’s team was two hours late hence they won the school clock! Moses’ team needed to do the math to make a comeback; they got the calculus equipment). We had the teacher scramble where the seated teachers had to jump up and grab as many books as they could, the toothbrushes award – anyone who was eating (we were serving refreshments)… lots of fun.
Steeplechase legend far right in red – Moses Kiptanui
Delighted to be a part of the Albino day, here giving out caps n T’s with the Lions.
August results–Before building the Shoe4Africa Sally Kipyego School I talked with the headmaster. I said, “We are doing out part by providing brand new facilities, now prove yours by picking up the results.” The old school was #88 out of 99 registered school’s in Marakwet West. Now, after the upgrade and new buildings, the new school has moved to #37 out of 103, and #29 in the public schools, and is ranked #2 in most improved for KPCE exams. Proving a little inspiration goes a long way…
On the 19th, at Kamoi location, Kakisonga sub location, Kaborowa village, we opened the Shoe4Africa Moses Kiptanui Public Primary school. Already there are 300-kids & 70 in the baby class (kindergarten). Shocking impact on a village that been requesting a school from the colonial days. Thanks to kind donations we were also able to provide a computer class too. Here’s a report from the Kenyan newspaper (should be 8.66 M/ksh, not 4.8) LINK
A momentous month for S4A. On the 6th of June I signed the final contract for the construction to get fully started and in motion. On the 10th the site is handed over to the Vishva Builders and we are off and running (although ground was ‘broken’ on Dec 31st 2012 we had a few changes for cementing the plans). On the 9th of June fencing went up around the site!
Also at the Shoe4Africa Janeth Jepkosgei School, thanks to Barnes & Noble, I was able to hand out 40-nook e-readers in a program to get our kids reading more. Hundreds of novels were loaded onto the books and I could barely keep the kids attention as they were literally mesmerized by these amazing gifts. Many thanks to Peter & Victoria Farago. We immediately started a class reading of a book called the Alchemist.
It humbles me working here in Kenya. This morning I had the joy of doing two projects; Giving out 300-text books to Mindililwo Primary School, and also giving out 500-pens. Both are precious items here in Kenya.
Meet Nancy Sirma, the latest student to get a Shoe4Africa four year scholarship (thanks Maria Lopes). She graduated from the Shoe4Africa primary and now goes onto secondary. Education is one of the best gifts you can give a child. Want to help? Let us know.
One of our favorite programs is the S4A Hal & Stacey Kelly feeding program. We returned to Lodwar, northern Kenya. Ajuma was up there so once again she kindly came along and helped host a mass children’s event at her Mother’s Conference Center. We bought stew, rice, chapatis, and had sodas, candy, biscuits and lollipops… plus the kids when home with books, pens and pencils.
Kids begin to pile into the compound, we invited 300 but 500 turned up!
The following day we walked around the bushlands giving out food to the grandma’s. Very rewarding work.
One of the inspiring Grandmas (Tatas) we met out in the bush
Then back to Nairobi we went to the Children’s Cancer Ward at the Kenyatta national hospital. We wanted to create a picnic party day for the children. So we purchased apples, bananas, oranges, mangoes, biscuits, candies, flavored milk, fruit juices and more before driving out for a fun afternoon.
My Super helpers – Kenya’s super models – Nanzi Ajuma & Elsie Njeri buying fruits in the market
Three schools got a Vibram Shoe4Africa hand out, along with T shirts and soccer uniforms as ‘barefoot running’ came to Kenya and tons of kids tried the five fingers – protecting their feet from hookworm, giving protection, and maintaining that ‘strong’ foot that leads to so much global success.
Fast legs at the Shoe4Africa Janeth Jepkosgei school
Thanks to a kind donation from Chantel Antonetti (now of L.A.) we were able to pass on a laptop to Ann (below) who is one of very few young ladies from Turkana to reach the level of further educational. Ann also came and helped us at the Vibram hand out.
To celebrate Women’s International day Katie Couric hosted a Show on Women. Anthony was featured to talk about Shoe4Africa. Great to get on the show on a major network channel too. ABC.
Top right – when Katie was talking to Deborah Roberts you can see our Shoe4Africa pictures up on the main screen!.
Click [HERE] to watch a clip of the Katie Couric Show
In February my friend Claudio Berardelli launched a Shoe4Africa scholarship program that would pay for needy students who graduated from the S4A Janeth JepkosgeiPrimary School to allow them to go to a secondary school. Claudio collected the money for the first student. Elvis Kipkurui would be the first recipient. Moments after I pasted on Facebook my friend Lieng-Seng Wee (an athlete I used to coach) pledged a four year support for another student – thanks guys! $900 buys four years of education for a child; their complete secondary school. By the end of the month TV ace Shon Gables (a friend of mine who I once ran the Brooklyn Half with) and Another friend Maria Fatima Lopes had pledged too – thanks!
Elvis Kipkurui & Jael Chepkogei, are the first two Scholarship students from the Janeth Jepkosgei Shoe4Africa Primary School and follow in a line of students who have been supported by Shoe4Africa going back around ten years.
NOOK: As a child I felt as if I lived in a public library. Every room of our house has an expansive bookcase. You could barely climb the stairs for books also piled there. One sad element I always see in the public schools is the dire state of books. Most kids have never owned a single book in their life; getting a plain paper exercise book is a task. Can you imagine the joy I felt when Peter & Victoria Farago handed me dozens of Nooks donated for free from Barnes & Noble (each capable of holding around 1,000 books) to give to our schools? I could have wept, and probably did on the cycle home.
With our ongoing plan to upgrade the education in the Rift Valley area we were really happy to receive school books to distribute from our friend Pat Duffy in NYC. The photo below shows a drop at the Little Joy primary School, 10km outside of Eldoret, with school directors World Marathon champion (2) & Olympic Silver medalist Abel Kirui, and the 13th fastest marathoner of all-time, Jonathan Maiyo.
And also distributing School sporting equipment (Thx Becky L.) to the school girls of Kamariny & Chebonet Primary schools. The kids are holding the model of the public hospital that will become ‘their’ property… after we have built it
On December 31st, with the staff of the Moi Referral Hospital I signed he contract to begin work, then climbed into a JCB (backhoe) and without further ado started breaking ground! Kind’ve surreal to finally begin this project… building East Africa’s first public children’s hospital. The amount of hours, the sacrifice… this project has become my life since March 17th 2008:
Signing the contracts
My first time driving a JCB
The T-Mobile Shoe4Africa 5K. Adding to our list of impressive supporters we were very proud to welcome T-Mobile to our portfolio. Not only that but the CEO of T-Mobile, and our board member, John Legere, came to run the race finishing a commendable sixth place. We sold out with 400-entrants and ran the race in Manhattan’s Riverside Park on the 2nd. It was also our second running race on American soil, and T-Mobile’s first foray into sponsoring the running world. Another iconic name, Pepsico, were our food sponsors. Thanks to all who supported the event that, as you can read below, was switched to a fund raiser for Hurricane Sandy – in two weeks we raised OVER $75,000!!! Edward Stern & Antonia Swan were the race’s top finishers.
On Dec 24th we held the annual Shoe4Africa Women’s 5k in Iten, Kenya. 1,100 ladies registered in 3.5-hrs to reach our cap. Mercy Cherotich Kibarus was the fastest to the line. Contrary to the article [link] the ipad prize went to a lady who comes from out in the countryside, very poor and was soon to start college. 4th place actually received $500. We gave out 800-pairs of shoes (taking over three hours!) and it was delightful to see that we had over five days 80-years plus in the field.
Sylvia Kibet (2x World Silver medalist) gives a Iten resident her running shoes.
We had planned to hold a 5k race in Manhattan to raise funds for the hospital ground breaking. Then the worst storm in history wrecked the coast line of New York as Hurricane Sandy hit our shores. I thought Shoe4Africa as an Organization should get involved in the recovery beyond our personal efforts. Thus the focus of the race became a fund raiser to buy gifts for the children affected by the storm. Many of which were left without any possessions. The idea was embraced by our board member Stacey Kelly who took the plan a stage further and started a Holiday Gift Drive to coincide wit the race. Within days we had over $75,000 and this great site up where people could also select gifts… we feel we did the right thing by changing the focus of the race! November became our gift drive month.
We we fortunate to ‘bag’ a rather impressive sponsor for our 2012 ING NYC Marathon team. PepsiCo came on board to support our running team, host a special breakfast for us at a snappy NYC restaurant and host a booth at the marathon expo. Until the event this graphic shows what it will look like. We are honored and grateful for the support!
Here is a video that Pepsico produced for us and posted on their youtube channel. However due to the cancellation of the marathon the video never got promoted. [link to video]
We are very proud of our Board Member John Legere who was elected the CEO of T-Mobile [link].
Thanks To RODARTE & Jeanine Lobell we have around 3,000 limited edition special Rodarte designed T shirts.
The 2nd Annual Maruge Memorial Peace Day was on August the 14th when four schools came together to play a day of sports together, bond and generally hang on. Livingstone Academy finished on top, with Chege Orphans, Salaba Academy next, and this year the hosts Kapkenduiywo left off the podium. MC Moses Kiptanui kept things rolling and the legacy of the world’s oldest school pupil was kept alive in a spirited fashion. FACEBOOK ALBUM
The Shoe4Africa Maruge memorial Sportsday
Great to see the school rising in education levels! The old school of Kapsumbeiyo moved premises on Jan 3rd into our newly built school, was renamed and We revisited the Janeth Jepkosgei Shoe4Africa School to hand out 20-backpacks to the best achievers, kindly donated by Marco Lui given by 領峰戶外用品(HIGHLANDER OUTDOOR) .
Janeth Jepkosgei hands out the rucksacks to the top students
The amazing ladies of Binti Pamoja! This is the Shoe4Africa IMAN cosmetics event where we get donated make up from NYC (thanks IMAN) and we give the kits to the ladies with a special make-over. Daniel Komen, the world record holder and world champion came to talk to the ladies.
Thanks to Shoe4Africa ambassador Becky Lyne! She sent us funds to buy books for three schools in Iten. Here are the teachers coming with a few kids to pick up the books
Ground breaking on our Fourth school. We are building this school to honor Sally Kipyego at the place where she went to Primary – Kaptiony. The school will be called the Shoe4Africa Sally Kipyego School.
We hosted a triple event at Ndalu, a village twenty kilometers from Kitale town. Thanks to a most generous donation of thousands of VIRGIN London Marathon waterproof jackets we were able to hand out these items to the whole of the village! The villagers were shocked and words of thanks flowed all the way back to London – it was our LONDON marathon Olympics celebration.
Thanks to another generous couple, Hal & Stacey Kelly, we bought 4500kgs of food to give out to the disabled community, all the widows & widowers, and school kids! Plus of course we donated shoes. A nice wrap for the month of July. PHOTO LINK HERE
Welcome Lilian Kiambui Kamithi, when we held our Peace Kimani Maruge event we wanted to sponsor a child who deserved a special scholarship. That was in August last year, and we finally have found our honoree – Lilian is our latest to join the ‘Shoe4Africa‘ team; she gets a four year scholarship to Wareng High School.
Lillian and her mother meet her new headmaster at Wareng High School
It was also very pleasing to see William Ekai, a young man Shoe4Africa helped through Medical School now out on the rounds at the Moi Referral Teaching Hospital.
Spurred on my the inspiring thought of building school #3, see below, we are quick to act to start the next; school #4. the Shoe4Africa Sally Kipyego School. Sally has been a friend to Shoe4Africa, and not only that she took the initiative to call up and offer to help back when she was studying nursing. Last Spring she called up again and wanted to get involved in our education program. The school will be based in the small village of Kaptiony, Marakwet, Kenya.
For the second year we had a team in the New York Half Marathon, twenty two runners supporting Shoe4Africa, we even had a celebrity performance run by Tom Cavanagh, Thanks Tom for supporting Shoe4Africa!
From the local Pastor, “I have about 500-kids here with no school to go to. The two closest schools away, about 4-miles to each direction, are already packed to their fullest, with close to 1,000 in one and over in the other. What can the 500-kids do? Wait? Don’t they get a chance too?”
For years, no. But now… Yes, we are starting to build school #3 to give an education to those kids.
A great way to start the “Olympic Year” is by beginning the building of School #3 – The Shoe4Africa Moses Kiptanui public primary school. Ground breaking should begin this month. The area is where Moses was born, between the villages of Chesubet & Kamoi up in the amazingly beautiful area of the Marakwet people. Moses has been with us for the whole road so it is very fitting we honor this great legend with a school. Google him!
We had a couple of sacks of Soccer boots also to give out, one bag went to Iten United, and the other was given to World Marathon Champion Abel Kirui to hand out at the Little Joy Primary School, just outside of Eldoret town.
Abel collecting the soccer boots, and talking about future projects with S4A
How exciting to host the very first New York City Shoe4Africa 5K in Manhattan. We sold out in just two weeks; and the feedback on the day was great –
” Really nice, well run 5K this morning in NYC. I hope it was as successful for your organization is it was for the participants”! (David Isaac). Liz Hines “What a wonderful race. So nice to get to meet so many great people before and after the race. The coffee hit the spot.” Matthew Schwark, “Fantastic race today, I had a great time! Thank you putting on such a nice event! Congrats to everyone who ran and thanks to all who came out to support the runners.” Laurel Wassner (our winner!) “Thank you for putting on a great race! Such a treat to run in Riverside Park and I am honored to have my first win in New York City be at the inaugural Shoe4Africa 5k.” BerndErpenbeck, “Great race today. Lots of fun on a gorgeous morning. And who could not like donuts and coffee afterwards!”
The feedback went on, and what was touching was many of the runners, like Bernd, went home and made a donation to Shoe4Africa! How about that? Even Jo Ann Mannino who worked all day as the Head of Volunteers went home and donated! The spirit was great, and the event is already on the calendar for December 2nd2012!
Also in December we had our Second Kibera Make-Over project and with a special appearance by supermodel AJUMA and products donated by IMAN cosmetics. See below for the great youtube IMAN Cosmetics put together after the event.
We also had our third annual Christmas Hal & Stacey Kelly Feeding Program in Kapsowar, Marakwet district. Children from a very poor area received large bags of rice and sugar.
The kids line up in the Marakwet district for our annual feeding program
We opened our second school, The Janeth Jepkosgei Shoe4Africa Public Primary in Kapsumbeiyo, Nandi district. Watch the news clip from the Kenyan television here [link]
And…We held our seventh annual Shoe4Africa Women’s 5k with over 1100 women aged from six years to way over 70 completing a rigorous course. Watch the news clip from the Kenyan television here
An exciting month with Shoe4Africa as we got a permit to hold a running race in Manhattan, NYC. The first annual Shoe4Africa 5km will take place less than three weeks after we got the news [typical S4A fashion]. Bank of America has agreed to be a sponsor, we have a national anthem singer and it is looking like Sunday Dec. 4th will be a fabulous day for our first ever race outside of Africa.
Furthermore UCAN have stepped up to offer their exceptional nutritional formula to us; so we are going to take the product and give it to the kids of the Patrick ChegeOrphans home. This is the step of us working with education, helping the kids to better concentrate in schools, work with health (the obvious giving the kids much needed protein to their diets), and hopefully start off more exciting projects that we already have planned out.
Planning ahead to this December we very fortunate that IMAN Cosmetics have agreed to come in as partners for our Make-Over program in Kibera for the lipstick jungle ladies. There is no bigger name in Make Up for ladies of color; this is the Rolls Royce! The brand is ideal for the project and we are looking forward to making it happen later this year. So Thank you thank you thank you IMAN Cosmetics for remembering the people in the world who will get an amazing life from getting a bag of your products!
Back to PEACE RESOLUTION, especially important in the communities where we work in Kenya as next year the elections are coming up and during the last elections Kenya had it worst ever problems since independence with 600,000 people being displaced and well over 1,000 killed. The theme we had was simple; Kimani Marugefought for Kenya’s independence against the British and was a war hero for the country, so how come he ended up in a refugee camp driven in their by his fellow countrymen? Then there is Maruge’s story – watch the excellent film, the First Grader, to learn more about this 84-year old School ‘boy’… but anyway, In August we held the First annual Maruge Cup — watch the video to lean more.
The ladies from Kibera called it the lipstick Jungle Kibera project. On July 31st, armed with 10-piece high-end Kevin Aucoin make up kits, we went to the Olympicdistrict of Kibera and had a MAKE-UP MAKEOVER.
The art of application.
Ajuma Nasenyana & husband Gustav sign up to run for Team Shoe4Africa. quote: made modeling history on the night of January 20th 2004 when she became the first black model EVER to win a modeling contract in an International modeling competition (that was not specifically for women of colour).
In May we launched our concept of getting kids back to school quicker with a pilot program. The problem is in the Rift Valley you must return to the new school year with a pencil and a notebook. After Christmas many kids can’t get the needed money. Hence, with a select circle of schools we want to distribute these supplies at Christmas time so kids will be straight back to school on opening day instead of waiting for their parents to find the needed monies towards the end of the month of January. Sally Kipyego will be our ambassador in this department. It is such a simple concept but will, on average, add a 50% attendance to school kids for the first month of school – Voila!
On a trip to Kenya I was honored to meet some of Kenya’s best in the medical world, Doctors Sam Thenya & Cleo Mailu, CEO’s of Nairobi Women’s & Nairobi Hospital, and also Dr. Manu Chandaria OBE – the stalwart of Kenyan philanthropy.
We also got the chance to give out a couple of laptop computers to help students at the university level. Here is Sandar Mwangi of Kenyatta University getting his!
I also got the chance to meet the full board of the Teaching Moi Referral Hospital.
The progress of school number two looked great too as we saw Janeth help lay the bricks! Our Shoe4Africa ‘Directore‘ Claudio Berardelli brought it to my attention the wonderful work that Janeth is doing for her community. She had paid money to help the church be built, and was also paying for the salaries of three teachers in the local public school (quite rare in Kenya as I have found most athletes only support private schooling where personal interests often play a part). Thus she made a great candidate to honor with our second school. As we visited she was also giving bonuses to all the top kids from the area for academic excellence.
World Champion & Olympic Silver medalist Janeth Jepkosgei making things happen
SHOE4AFRICA gets on CNN [link] – interview by the world renowned Dr. Sanjay Gupta!
In March the Shoe4Africa half marathon team took to the streets. Back in November, at a fund raiser, I met Hugh Jackman and asked him if he would run what would be his first ever Half Marathon — he said Yes! Two days before the race Hugh was leg pressing 320-lbs, not the ideal warm up, but on a cold NYC morning he finished in great form!
Tom Cavanagh (“ed“), James Legros (“mercy”), and our ‘Dr. Mark Greene’ – Tony Edwards made it quite the actors team! And at the front end of the race Ambassador Mo Farah won the whole event! Mo was holding the finishing line tape at our last event in Kenya.
The Half Marathon team, ready for action!
Angus Wall, who won an Oscar two months earlier for his part in the Social Network film, “I am running the LA marathon and, after looking for a great cause, landed on shoe 4 africa. please donate what you can!” Thanks Angus, he raised over $5000 for us!
A highlight of February had to be the start of School number two! We officially started building the Shoe4Africa Janeth Jepkosgei public primary school. Janeth has been a great Shoe4Africa ambassador helping at many events we have held and we can think of nobody better for school number two.
The Site of School Number Two
On the 15th, in Kimn’geru (Nandi district) we had the honor of opening the first ever SHOE4AFRICA public primary school in Kimn’geru village. This project was started in May 2010 but had been a long time dream of the people in the district. Furthermore, with kind donations, we were also able to outfit the school with a dozen laptops and a shipment of text books. The function was attended by many of Kenya’s top runners.
Watch the video of the Opening [LINK HERE]
Find the school on google maps [LINK HERE]
PS… Here is a photo I wanted to post for quite some time! From the bank account! A milestone!
Finally we hit One Million dollars!!! (See the picture in January 2011’s page as I could not access the bank account when I was over in Kenya).
The Shoe4Africa Women’s 5km was a great success: [TV CLIP] We had three ladies over the age of 80-years compete which was especially pleasing to see–it is a very tough course too. Race winner, and former World Champ, Rose Kosgei, missed breaking Helena Kirop’s course record by one second, and the second place finisher Alice Timbilil a week later won the year’s biggest Dec 31st race over in Brazil showing that this race is one of the toughest on the calendar–see you Dec 24th2011
The women of Iten, being joined by Tania Farah, in the final kilometer
The Christmas Feeding program held in conjunction with the Small Voices Foundation was held in Turkana, at the central town of Lodwar. An immense success with over 4,000 kids getting maize, bread and sodas. We took John Kelai who two months earlier had won the Commonwealth Games Marathon as a celebrity to inspire the youth (as he comes from this region), and we plan to do more in Turkana — watch this space!
Turkana kids line up waiting for Christmas food parcels thanks to Small Voices Foundation!
Also Daniel Komen announces his intent to race for the Shoe4Africa team in the ING NYC marathon 2011!
I was musing in June 2008 when I was thinking of a way to get $15-million dollars and came up with the wall and the idea to go for micro donations–the bricks in the wall, click for a brick. My cunning plan to email 15-millionaires and drop a hint had fallen flat on its face; either that or my hints were not big even. I emailed seven friends (my lucky number), two of which were Chris Bilsky (my first donor way back when I started) and Marty Levine, another amazing friend, I figured if six people responded we’d have enough bricks for a first layer. As it turned out the three of us formed the first layer… things took off, but it was that ‘grass roots’. So I am proud to announce that by November we had hit $920,000!
In the New York Marathon we have a team of 46-runners including former winners German Silva, and Liz McColgan.
Liz McColgan comes to the finish line…
Coincidentally the race was won by long time Shoe4Africa supporter and Ambassador (and long time friend), a lady that has ran in nearly all our events, Edna Kiplagat
A big personal thanks also to the legendary German Silva who won the NYC Marathon twice,
in 1994 & 95 coming to run for Shoe4Africa — German and I ran together!
German is our first Ambassador from South America and I highly recommend if you can read
Spanish that you buy his book on running co-authored with a great Dutch writer,
whom I once met in Kenya, by the name of Kees Kooman.
[pic to the right is when we were passing through the borough of Brooklyn].
SEA TO THE STARS
So on November 21st, at exactly 6:25 a.m. I set off on the attempted run from Mombasa, Kenya, to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. As far as I know it has never been done before, to run from the absolute sea level of Africa to its upmost ceiling (and indeed the world’s highest free standing mountain). So this was my record attempt — the plan was to do it with one support vehicle (thanks Mohammed) and to run all the way, by foot. I would run about 35-40 miles per day and sleep at night, then get up the mountain as fast as I could (no acclimatization). I had to get a special guide for the mountain as the minimum ‘climb’ you are allowed to do is 5-days, I intended to do the whole run from one Sunday and finish on the next… I employed the services of Simon Mtuy who used to hold the record for the fastest ascend/descent of the mountain (and still holds the unaided record)… I am going to build a site [www.seatostars.com] for the full story!
Sunday November 28th @ 1pm — Done it!
We hit a huge milestone – $800,000 in the bank, plus a school built. Now for a big charity this is nothing, they probably make this much in a month. But when this project was started to build a hospital it was decided that there would not be a paid staff, offices, fund raisers… we would do it bit by bit – and this is the way it is happening.
As S4A grows so does our outreach and I was never so proud when I received an email from Bruce Tulloh, a man who has been a legend in the running world, saying he wants to help. This month he is running in the 2500-year old Athens original Marathon race and representing us! Here’s to you Bruce!
Bruce Tulloh, European Champion, coach, author, philanthropist and S4A Ambassador
For the last two editions of the Commonwealth Games Shoe4Africa has had a marathon winner — this year we are proud that John Kelai kept that tradition running; winning the 2010 Commonwealth Marathon for Kenya, and of course for Shoe4Africa — I told John in July, “Please win for us to keep our streak going…” he said, “okay!” and boom – we are so happy to see him a champion! Thanks Ambassador John!
John Kelai, Shoe4Africa Ambassador and Commonwealth Marathon Champion.
AUGUST 2010 Mercy Kiprop joins the Shoe4Africa team winning a four year scholarship.
Mercy Kiprop, still with another year to go in primary school, wins an U20-years XC in Kenya & her secondary school fees paid
We give shoes to a group of 50-Pokwot Poachers being rehabilitated by Kuki Gallman (I dreamed of Africa) into a life of sports. Our shoes go in all directions, including the yearly group of KenSAP students about to go to America for studies at the Ivy League Schools. Azali becomes our third Chairperson (and our first woman!)
“More Fire!” The KenSap students.
Dropping off the sack of Shoes for Kuki’s Pokwot Poachers brilliant program
JULY 2010 We launch the Sea to the Stars at Rodney Cutler’s Cutler Salon — a great party, and the night before the Sea to the Stars team (Dean Holcombe, Mike Martinez, Rodney, myself, and Azali Kassum meet at Rodney’s house in the sticks and run 21-miles back into NYC to get the project rolling! We’re off and running in Esquire Magazine and Rachel Ray’s Blog. Our first sponsor is REDKEN.
JUNE 2010 we hit $700,000 with no staff, barely a business plan, and whilst maintaining all our other projects — two years ago? ZERO! World Middle Weight Former #1 contender Michael Olajide releases a fitness DVD with Shoe4Africa featured.
MAY 2010 Top NYC designer THUY launches her Shoe4Africa RUNNING TO RUNWAY program designed to give us a percentage of sales from Designer shoes, this headscarf etc — thanks THUY. Two years later: The intent was great although to date we have not yet received anything monetary wise…. c’est la vie!
The Shoe4Africa Headscarf-Thuy designed!
A previous fashion project we collaborated on was with the men’s underwear company CIN2U where, after a production run and saw sales in the far east, the charity angle was to be worked on…
APRIL 2010 We start building the SHOE4AFRICA Kimn’geru primary school, Nandi district Kenya!
The first stones arrive for the school!
MARCH 2010 We announce we are going to build a Primary School this Summer in Kenya! A promise that was made in 2007 to a community is going to happen as we reach the funding goal.
German Silva – a New York City Marathon legend announces he is going to run with Shoe4Africa Marathon team 2010. Alex Vero’s documentary, Running to the limits donates $2 per DVD to Shoe4Africa.
FEBRUARY 2010; It is Official Double World Champion, Olympic Silver, winner of the London, Tokyo and the New York City Marathon, the great Liz McColgan is running for SHOE4AFRICA’s marathon team 2010.
JANUARY 2010 What a way to start the new year; “Shoe4Africa has become a powerful agent for change.” Kenyan National Television Station. thank you so much!
Wendy Ng helps us to financially support our first medical student sponsoring maybe the first Doctor who will work in our hospital, a Turkana man needing school fees at Kisumu Medical College – welcome William Ewai.
DECEMBER 2009 Shoe4Africa Women’s 5k; the event was centered around promoting AIDS Awareness.
World Champions Janet Jepkosgei and Mary Keitany (whose senior career begun with a shoe4africa race!), World record holder Daniel Komen, and Olympic Champion Matthew Birir were on hand to give health speeches supporting a team from the local hospital who offered testing, drugs, and counseling (all free).
Mary Keitany, back in 2006, three years before she became world famous, a world champion & record holder!
Daniel Komen, the only man to run two consec. miles under 8-minutes, World Champion Janeth Jepkosgei, Sharon Tavenga Zimbabwe national champion, Sylvia “Sleepy” Kibet world 5000 silver medalist and world champion Mary Keitany give out shoes to race participants.
(Two days later) Partnering with the Foundation for Small Voices (whose board member Stacey Kelly sits on the S4A board) Toby Tanser delivered food packages of Flour,& Sugar, Fats, and tea leaves to 2500 kids in Five different centers around the Baringo/Pokwot area of Kenya where starving children had ben eating rats. A 100% crop failure meant that luxuries, such as sugar, and chapatis, tea etc, had not been tasted all year long!
NOVEMBER 2009 Shoe4Africa team ran the NYC Marathon to raise funds, a team of about 30 including NBC actor James Legros (3:29:00), Tegla Loroupe (3:54:02), Actress Sarah Jones (3:54:02), Toby Tanser (3:54:02), and Actor Anthony Edwards (4:08:47). Said Tegla, two time champion and former world record holder, on the finishing line, “It was really hard. I didn’t feel tired but my legs were hurting. It means something special because I always run for myself. This time I think of how many children I am saving. It means something more than winning. Even the other runners said thank you for running.
Toby, Sarah Jones, and Tegla Loroupe run to the finish! (credit photorun)
In our second fund raiser of the month (rare!) Omega/Tourbillon Shoe4Africa Poker Night, down on Wall St raised just over $10,000 Thanks so much. The winner of the night was Catherine Gonzalez; beating, amongst others, Poker pro Harry Winston.
Catherine Gonzalez, left, wins the Shoe4Africa Omega Challenge
OCTOBER 2009 Proving the biblical phrase correct, the hand giveth receiveth (eh?) Mark Webber donates 1000-sterling to our cause, then a week later wins the Brazilian F1 Gran Prix. We also get a donation from Rosario Dawson, Michael Stipe of R.E.M, and Ed Norton. Natalie Portman (who also donated) was kind and gracious enough to attend our pasta party at Tony’s house. Others who have donated shoes… Elijah Wood, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ellen DeGeneres, Ashley Jensen, and Mario Batali. Shante Broadus & her husband Mr. Snoop
SEPTEMBER 2009 As we push on with our 500,000 x $10 campaign two more sponsored athletes start school & secure a four year sponsorship, at the Martin Lel Secondary School.
AUGUST 2009 The Shoe4Africa Deaf & Disabled run is held in Iten. We have 200 D& D kids running before we hand out mosquito nets instead of finishing medals, and give out new running shoes in a race to raise awareness for Malaria – the #1 killer of kids in Africa. Olympic Champion Matthew Birir talks to the kids on malaria awareness & setting life goals whilst the Deaf School headmistress does the honors with sign language. We also hold a Malaria Awareness class in Kibera using Kids as the teachers.
Revisiting the IDP camp in Eldoret where we held a peace race last May we find refugees still living in squalor, cold, and poverty, so we hold a quick clothes & food drive. On the same day Hillary Clinton is in Kenya commending the government for having successfully closed all the IDP camps! Bizarre – don’ t believe what you hear!
The process to form SHOE4AFRICA as a Kenyan NGO starts. Shoe4Africa’s newest board member, Dr. David Feldman and family join Toby for a tour of the hospital site, Kibera, and health centers in Kenya.
Anthony Edwards decision to run the New York marathon gets a great skitt from the Funnyordie.com crew! [LINK]
Thanks to Arjan Pathmamanoharan, who organized a fund raiser for us with a world record attempt at the Women’s 10,000m on a night of athletics.
“The Athletics club ‘Phoenix’ organised a WR Festival in Utrecht, the Netherlands. During this event we organised a World Record attempt on the 10.000 meters for women, the Dutch Championships 10.000 meters, a business run where teams also attempt the World Record for women (10x 1000 meter), a track and field athletics team event for students, an Africa corner with cultural performances and workshops but also a sponsor race for kids!”
Meselech Melkamu, a world star from Ethiopia, ended up winning the 10,000m but missing the world record…. but running the second fastest time in history, 29:53!!
Back in Harlem, NYC…We hold a fund raiser. Billie Jean King & Ilana Kloss are the guests of honor. Sarah Jones, a Tony winning actress who is amazing, and Morley, the singer you just have to hear, make the evening unforgettable. We announce the next project; Doctor Mark Greene to run the NYC Marathon
The Great Billie Jean King, with George & David Hirsch
The Second Annual Shoe4Africa Martin Lel run marked the kickoff celebrations of the Martin Lel Secondary School at Kimngeru. A joint initiative between the village and Shoe4Africa. Lel was on hand as Shoe4Africa’s founder Toby was honored as a Nandi Elder; an award extremely seldom bestowed upon a foreigner (The next ‘Elder’ ceremony was for the Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, by the Kipsigeis, as the Nandi’s informed Toby, “It is an award we have not even given our President Kibaki”).
OLYMPIC GOLD 100m – Donovan Bailey joins Shoe4Africa as an Ambassador.
A successful day at the Orphans Home Mama Fatuma’s. Shoe4Africa works in the Eastern side of Nairobi, by the Mathare Slums.
MARCH 2009 USA Ambassador Michael Ranneberger visited the Kibera Slums to be met by a large group of women all dressed in their yellow Shoe4Africa T shirts.
JANUARY 2009 5000 shoes are split between the Kibera Primary School and the Little Rock Orphans school in Kibera. Another 600 shoes are given out to other sporting groups. Shoe4Africa’s mission to give out over 10,000 pairs (12,000) to the people of Kibera is more than complete. [read link to the story: click here]
The Shoe4Africa football team Kibera was formed.
The Shoe4Africa Kibera football team won every match entered, virtually!
2009 Shoe4Africa partners with C-IN2 to work on the first official Shoe4Africa clothing item; underwear, coming soon to a store near you.
Older history can be found here – link