By Christi Christner
The Wauneta Breeze
The nation remembers Hurricane Sandy, a hurricane that hit the country on Oct. 29, 2012. Over $50 billion worth of damage was done in the U.S.
Unfortunately many may have forgotten about the families who lost their homes and family members among the devastation.
One man’s daring mission is shaking everyone awake as he and his support team run across America.
Jason Lester, Tina Grifith, James Kamo and Alika Ho’omana, along with the organization Waves for Water is trying to raise $20,000 to help one family rebuild a home destroyed in Hurricane Sandy.
Last Wednesday, the group ran through Chase County. While passing through the area, running on Highway 6, they spent time in both Wauneta and Imperial.
Lester’s blog at www.runman5.com features a picture of him standing below Wauneta’s Chateau Theatre marquee. He also stopped by the Chase County Courthouse in Imperial for a picture.
Lester’s group, R[U]N To Rebuild, has been sponsored by Nike, Wild Canyon Games, Specialized, Shimano, Oakley and Vega.
Lester is the solo runner who will run from San Francisco’s city hall to New York’s city hall with the help of Grifith, Kamo and Ho’omana.
Together they started this journey on May 5. They plan on being to New York in about 20 days.
Lester runs about 50 miles a day, regardless of weather conditions.
Lester may be a stranger to our local communities, but not to the sports world.
Lester is a renowned athlete. He received ESPN’s ESPY award for Best Male Athlete with a Disability.
He has been involved with athletics his whole life. However when he was 12 he was hit by a speeding car that broke 21 bones and collapsed one of his lungs. Lester survived but was left with his right arm paralyzed.
This disability did not stop Lester from going after what he wanted.
Lester has run in many marathons, triathlons, biathlons and many other competitions and running/endurance events. He once ran 26 marathons in 26 consecutive days.
Lester says he has always wanted to run across America and raising money for Waves for Waters was an opportunity to help others.
When asked how he keeps motivated while running such long distances in hot weather he says, “I try to take the focus off of myself and remember the many inspiring families we are trying to help.”
How to help
Over 40,000 people lost their homes in Hurricane Sandy. Lester wants to remind people around the world that there is still travesty in the areas the hurricane hit.
In seconds, people’s livelihoods and some lives were taken away from them. Things that people had worked hard for all their lives were gone.
Local residents who would like to help this effort can go to www.runman5.com and make a donation. R[U]N To Rebuild still needs to raise $4,000 to meet its goal.
Anyone who donates $20 or more will receive a shirt.
Lester and Waves for Water are trying to raise as much money as they can to help Hurricane Sandy victims. For those who choose not to donate, Lester asks them to help spread the word and most importantly to pray.