By Pat Fotedar CLEVELAND: A light steady rain couldn’t dampen the spirit of 125 runners and volunteers and organizers who turned out for the fourth annual run for Sewa at Weiss Field in Avon Lake, Ohio on Sunday, September 9, 2018. This annual event is a fund raiser for Sewa’s ASPIRE (Active Student Participation Inspires Real Engagement) program – a tutorial and mentoring program for at risk high school students in Euclid High School and Garfield Heights High School in greater Cleveland area. The marshalling area under the covered pavilion bustled with activity. Volunteers from Sew International, Cognizant and Moen as well as officials from Hermes Sports and Events helped with prerace set up and organization. Old friends met up to chat, while the more serious runners stretched and prepared for the run. The event began with opening remarks from Dr. Hira Fotedar, President and Dr. Rupesh Raina, Chairman, Advisory Board of Sewa International Cleveland. Avon Lake Mayor, Greg Zilka welcomed the diverse crowd consisting of 145 people from across the Northern Ohio area and thanked everyone for supporting this worthy cause. Drs. Reem Gulati, Priyanka Sharma and Geetu Pehlajani got the runners stretching and moving to the beat of some Bollywood tunes. The race was whistled off at 9:00am The overall male winner was Alexander Hopkins of Cleveland with a time of 20:02.9. The over all female winner was Stephanie Logosh of Cleveland with a time of 27:50.8. First, second, and third place medals were awarded in nine different age categories. A quick survey of runners found that most of them preferred running in light rain to hot sun. Lance Polen a member of Cleveland’s dedicated running community and the first place winner in Male 55-59 age group, said “the Run for Sewa is the most family friendly run he has participated in”. He also applauded Sewa’s ASPIRE program and the positive impact it is making in Euclid and Garfield Heights high schools. The 2018 Run for Sewa raised $10,000 for the ASPIRE program. Post-race refreshments were provided by Cuisine of India in Parma Heights. Mahesh Desai of Krishna Video, captured all the exciting moments on film. TV Asia covered the Run for Sewa on September 12 in their community round up segment. www.sewausa.org/cleveland
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