Imagine having no running experience whatsoever. None. Nada. Zip.
Now imagine having to train for an entire marathon.
Now, imagine having to raise a couple thousand dollars in the process.
Not for a dedicated group of residents, who will culminate a year’s worth of training—and fundraising—this Sunday at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Dave Fischer, the director of children and student ministry at , spearheads the group. And as of Thursday night, the team just hit their $30,000 fundraising goal, all of which will go to help fund water projects in Magamba, Tanzania.
“The best part of it is that quite a few people that ran aren’t marathoners at all,” Fischer said. “And half are people that have done maybe two or three miles a couple times a week—not marathons. These are all people that just kind of felt a calling to do something crazy. Just to see that all happen … always amazes me.”
Fischer and company is running as part of Team World Vision for the third-straight year. Team World Vision is the largest charity team at the Chicago Marathon has raised more than $5 million for clean water projects in Africa and Haiti since its start in 2005.
“It’s been an unbelievable experience since we (started) this two years ago,” Fischer said. “It was just my wife and a few friends of ours the first year—we didn’t really have time to talk about it in our church and see who would be interested. The year after, we said, ‘Let’s assemble a team and put it out to our church and see who would be interested in this.’”
Quite a few, as it turns out. That year, the team grew from just a few to 22 and raised $13,000.
This year, they sought to more than double that total. And they did. And the fine folks in Magamba are to reap the benefits.
Earlier this year, the Bolingbrook Christian Clergy Association hosted the World Vision Experience: AIDS, at the .
The event featured a 2,500 square-foot interactive exhibit that showed visitors first-hand how children in an African village was affected by AIDS.
Visitors were also able to adopt a child in prayer. Bolingbrook residents adopted more than 300.
“We asked ourselves, ‘Why don’t we just adopt this community? That way, anything we do will effect this community.’ And we had already been assembling our team.
“So we began talking to representatives from World Vision to allocate funds to (Magamba) too. And literally (Wednesday) we found out everything was in concrete.”
Fischer’s squad will run 45 strong on Sunday in Chicago—26 plan to complete the entire marathon.
And those interested in still donating money can still do so by either clicking HERE or by sending a check to Fischer at (1175 Lily Cache Ln., Bolingbrook, IL 60490).
"It's a lot of churches involved but it's not just for the church, it's open to the community as well," Fischer said. "Anyone can do it. It's a great way to stay connected."