Hundreds of individuals joined the 5K “Run for Nepal” spearheaded by the Nepalese Community of Saipan with the Saipan Young Professionals Committee of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce last Saturday.
About 300 woke up early to support the fundraising run, which started at the Garapan Fishing Base across Kristo Rai Church.
Prior to the run, a prayer and a moment of silence were offered to those who perished and are still suffering because of the series of devastating quakes that have hit Nepal since April, including three that were more than magnitude 7 in strength.
Pramila Gurung, a waitress at Fiesta Resort and Spa Saipan, was visiting her family in Nepal when the earthquakes happened in April. She told the crowd on Saturday about the horrifying and traumatizing experience she and her family went through.
Gurung said she was on the third floor of a building when it happened. Luckily for her and her family, they were able to ran out into the open. After that, they stayed outside their house. Help didn’t come until their third day on the streets, afraid of going inside buildings that were full of giant cracks and anticipating aftershocks.
“The second time was so strong. The buildings were shaking, like dancing,” Gurung told the community. “That’s the time when I thought, ‘this is the last moment of my life,’” she said in a shaky voice.
She thanked everyone for coming out to help and support her countrymen.
A $10 registration fee was paid per runner. Aside from this, raffle tickets and shirts were sold at the event.
According to the society’s president, Mahesh Thapa, funds will go directly to those who need it in Nepal as they have a counterpart team there who is taking care of allocating the money to the local community.
“It’s a very successful event for us. We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to all the community members for supporting us and participating,” Thapa said.
“A lot of people even donated but they didn’t run. And we had a good turnout with the kids,” SYP chair Mable Ayuyu said.
Prizes for the top three finishers included medals, hotel stays, and gifts from Nepalese culture including a karuwa, which is their traditional water jug, and a khukuri, which is an old knife mainly used during World War II.