29/01/2010

Belfast Fun Run To Aid Haiti

Hundreds of people are expected to converge on Ormeau Park in south Belfast this Sunday (31st) to take part in a special Fun Run to raise funds for the survivors of the Haiti earthquake.

The 5km Fun Run has been organised by the Belfast4Haiti campaign, an appeal which was started just a fortnight ago by two local musicians after news of the earthquake broke. Among those taking part will be the former Olympic pentathlete, Dame Mary Peters, and local actor, Gerard McCarthy, better known as Kris Fisher from the E4 TV show Hollyoaks.

Scheduled for 11am, it will be just ahead of a massive concert, also organised by Belfast4Haiti, which is happening later the same day.

Fun Run organiser, Austin Tanney, said the campaign decided to hold the Fun Run because they wanted to ensure there was an event this Sunday which would appeal to everyone.

"Sunday afternoon's gig has already proved very popular but we appreciate it's likely to appeal primarily to younger people," he said.

"We wanted to ensure that we also had an event which everyone - young, old, fit and not-so-fit could participate in.

"Don't worry if you hate running - many people will be walking the course. The main thing is that you have a really enjoyable time," he said.
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The event will be a truly family-friendly one with music supplied by the Belfast Carnival Band, a bouncy castle, face-painting and balloon-modelling and food all on hand.

The event is raising money by levying a registration fee and requesting additional donations. A number of local businesses have also provided sponsorship.

All money raised from both the Fun Run, Sunday's concert and other events being staged by Belfast4Haiti will go direct to the Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella group of 13 aid agencies which are assisting in the earthquake relief effort.

The campaign has also invited all Belfast's MLAs to come along and join in the fun. Sinn Féin's Alex Maskey and Alliance's Anna Lo have already said they'll be there, and the organisers hope other politicians will participate on the day.

The Belfast4Haiti campaign has already attracted more than 5,000 followers on Facebook. More than 900 people have bought tickets for Sunday's concert and the organisers are hoping some 400 people will join the Fun Run.

Those wishing to join in the Fun Run should arrive at the Ozone Leisure Centre no later than 10.45am to register before the Run starts at 11am or register in advance by visiting the Belfast4Haiti website at: www.Belfast4Haiti.com

Tickets for Sunday's concert, which starts at 3pm, can also be purchased on the website.

Registration fees for the Fun Run are: £10 per adult, £5 per child, and £20 per family.

(BMcC/GK)

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