Day in, day out, from September 7 to 16, sunshine or rain, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) colleagues put on their trainers and headed to Vitkov park in Prague to participate in the 18th annual Teribear charity run. Covering almost 800 km over 10 days, the team raised 40,000 Kč ($1,800) to help disadvantaged children.
The fundraising project was launched by Czech model Tereza Maxová’s Foundation in 2009 in response to the high number of children in the Czech Republic growing up in institutional care.
During the week, a battalion of sorts, over 10,000 runners and walkers, spilled across the city’s national monument on Vitkov hill, racking up 50 Kč ($2.30) donations from Teribear’s partner organizations for every kilometer completed. The track weaved around the monument’s impressive statue of Jan Zizka, the largest equestrian statue in the world, which looms over the city commemorating the one-eyed leader of the Hussite army who gained victory over the Crusaders in 1420.
In all, Teribear participants covered over 200,000 km this year and raised over 11 million Kč ($506 thousand) for projects supporting families and children. Initiatives focus on returning children from orphanages to families; optimizing the placement of children into care; and supporting mothers in need to raise their children.
Although a little fatigued and in one case even injured, RFE/RL participants were delighted to have joined in the challenge and look forward to participating again in the future. Extra applause goes to the early risers who were dedicated (or crazy) enough to add to their scores at 6:00am in the morning before work.
Ales Prucha, a member of RFE/RL’s Visa and Documentation department who helped coordinate the team, was pleased with the result, and said, “there is nothing better than helping others while doing sport.”