As morning broke, all of the participants had awoken to a city covered in over 2 inches of overnight snow! The roads, cars and homes may have been dampened, but the unexpected weather failed to dampen the spirits and enthusiasm of the participants.
The Lord Mayor arrived at 10.00am and after visiting the mandir proceeded to the assembly hall for the opening ceremony. There, he was earnestly welcomed by over 200 participants ranging from 2 years to 95 years of age, all eager to embark on yet another challenge to raise money for local charities.
This year, the charities supported by BAPS in Birmingham are Diabetes UK and Acorns Children’s Hospice. As part of his address to the participants, the Lord Mayor congratulated BAPS for its tremendous efforts in helping the local community and gave a special mention to the inspiring work done by Acorns, a charity that cares for children in the West Midlands with life-limiting illnesses.
Shri Sanjaybhai Jagatia, a representative from Acorns, briefly outlined the work that is done by the charity and also thanked BAPS for its generous donations.
Finally, Joanna Oldfield, local fund-raising manager for Diabetes UK, and Shaleen Sandhu, a local representative from the charity, mentioned that the donations received from BAPS will help people in the UK cope with Diabetes, a disease which affects millions of people around the country.
At 11.00am, with the sun beaming down upon the participants and the guests at the start line, the Lord Mayor untied the ribbon and officially began the Family Sponsored Walk and Fun Run 2008. The day was an overwhelming success, bringing families together, developing a strong community bond as well as raising much needed funds for the local charities.
Well done to all those who took part and we are already looking forward to next year, where we anticipate a slightly warmer and brighter Sponsored Walk!