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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Second Annual Chasis 8K Run/5K Walker & Peruvian Fest

Second Annual Chasis 8K Run/ 5K Walk and Peruvian Festival steps up for disaster relief

Helotes, TX- As rebuilding efforts continue for Peruvian families displaced by devastating earthquakes in the region, relief comes for the second year in a row by way of the Texas Partners of the Americas.

The Second Annual Chaskis 8K Run/ 5k Walk and Peruvian Festival in Helotes, Texas once again brought together athletes from across the state. Participants broke out their running shoes to help those in the wake of an earthquake which struck Lima and surrounding areas. Efforts were, once again, spear-headed by the Texas-Peru Partners Relief Funds and their national parent organization, Partners of the Americas.

“I think we all need to get involved in volunteer work,” said Roger Soler, owner of Soler Sports and the title sponsor of the mini-marathon. “Since I'm from Peru, I'm very happy to be involved in this and my heart goes out to all the families obviously. Competitive running has been a big part of my life for a long time and many of these athletes are glad to come out for a charity event.”

As a former Olympian, Soler joined a host of other runners as well as community leaders from San Antonio and Helotes and those looking to taste Peruvian delicacies. The Peruvian Festival that accompanied the mini-marathon featured live music and the Helotes' traditional street festival, Market Days. Folklore dancing from the Kusuy Kusuy dancers and even Pepe the llama, who posed for more than his share of photos with crowd, was also part of the festivities.

“Anytime I can bring together two things that mean so much to me and that I've been a part of for a long time, it only gets better,” continued Soler. “It's very much work to organize this event, but another great thing is that we get to show off the Peruvian culture with the prizes the runners win as opposed to a medal. We can always hope for more runners considering the great amount we had our first year.”

For Partners of the Americas, their non-profit mission started 45 years ago. Among their goals is to cultivate a partnership between academic and cultural institutions with Latin American countries and the United States. Following similar devastation in Haiti and Chile, they know the many years and the many dollars reconstruction can take. For that reason, they have pledged financial support for them as well.

“We are always hoping for more participation as always,” said Soler as he mused over the participation by the community. “After a year, we are also improving to make it a better event in general. We also are reaching out to the patrons of Market Days since there is so much generosity in the Helotes community.”

Proceeds from the Second Annual Chaskis 8K Run/ 5K Walk and Peruvian Festival will go directly to neighborhoods reduced to rubble following the tremors in Peru and relief in Haiti. With the elementary school already erected and homes slowly taking shape once more, the Texas-Peru Partners Relief Funds is poised for more signs of a full recovery.

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