“It’s seeing the glow on the faces of the runners as they come across the finish line” recalls volunteer Abe Konrad about why he helps out year after year at the Envision Financial Run for Water which takes place again on May 31st.
“Whether it’s the joy of completing the race or whether it’s something deeper knowing that they are part of a movement that brings clean water to people in Ethiopia…to me it doesn’t matter. It’s just the fact that it’s such an exciting event to be a part of in Abbotsford.”
Abe has been handing out race medals at the finish line since it began eight years ago.
“It’s one of my favourite things to do all year. Volunteering for such a great community event that’s attached to a global cause like clean water just makes sense to me,” he says.
“I’ve been in business with Blackwood Building Centre for 44 years and when some of the people from Run for Water approached me to be a sponsor the very first year I had no idea it would gain such traction in our community.”
He goes on to say, “I have loved seeing how it has grown over the years and now to watch our staff get involved in running with their families or volunteering at the race brings me such joy. It’s these local homegrown community events that make our city so great.”
“Last year they invited me to come out and attend a school assembly. I had no idea that thousands of kids across the lower mainland are being inspired to be global citizens as result of this Abbotsford-based organization. It really has become more than a race.”
“I guess what keeps me coming back as a volunteer goes beyond the excitement and energy that happens on race day, it’s hearing the stories of how girls in Ethiopia get to go to school because they now have access to clean water. I volunteer and do my part because this is how I can give back and make a difference both for the runners and for people around the world.”
“As long as I can still stand I’ll be there…handing out those medals,” he chuckles with a smile on his face.
To volunteer visit www.runforwater.ca