in Blog, Community Outreach, Sponsorships by Kelley Mangel
One thing we all have in common here at LBA Ware is active involvement in charities and community service. Keri Bunting, an executive assistant, is outdoing us all this summer when she embarks on a run across the state of Colorado to raise money and awareness for refugees on the border of Thailand. LBA Ware is extremely proud of this undertaking. I sat down with Keri recently to learn more about the charity, the run, her goals and how she is preparing for it, mentally and physically.
Kelley Martins: First thing first, tell us about the organization leading the event.
Keri Bunting: Venture, a non-profit, is the organization. They put on many adventure runs and bike rides to raise money and awareness for the refugees on the Thailand. This specific initiative uses the donations for a food program.

KM: Very interesting. Have you done an adventure run like this before?
KB: No, this will be my first time. I’ve heard of things similar to this but never really took an interest until now.

KM: So, why this one?
KB: A friend posted on Facebook about his bike ride across America he did with Venture. It looked and sounded very intriguing. I talked to my friend about his experience and did lots of research. Lots and lots of research. There’s so many charities and organizations out there. It was important to me that if I took on something like this, it would be for a reputable organization. And it is.

KM: That’s great. How will the run work?
KB: It’s 370 miles over 10 days starting this July. It will be July 29-August 7th.

KM: Wait. Did you just say 370 miles? Are you running all 370?
KB: NO! I’ll run a total of 100 miles over the 10 days. It’s a group of 30 people, plus 4 leaders, that will be splitting the run.

KM: WOW! 100 miles is still quite an accomplishment. What motivated you to take on this challenge?
KB: I love running and love doing missions so it seemed like the perfect fit. The opportunity to have others join me on this adventure, whether through financial support, prayers, or just some good old fashioned encouragement is super exciting to me.

KM: Good for you. It sounds like this is certainly something right up your alley. What type of training are you doing to prepare for it?
KB: Venture suggests the best way to train is to just keep doing what you’re most comfortable doing. So, that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m thinking about it as if I’m training for a half marathon; running 4-5 days per week, 6-7 miles during the week, 13+ miles on the weekends.

KM: I know you do a lot of half marathons, as well as full ones. Are you setting running goals for this?
KB: My main goal is not so much about running but rather about raising awareness about this real problem in Thailand. This experience to me is more about community, bonding with the people, and just making life a little richer and fuller.

KM: This is all very inspiring Keri. What do you hope to get from this experience?
KB: From a financial aspect, I hope to raise at least $3,000. For every $1 dollar, 10 nutritious meals are provided to the malnourished refugees. Raising the $3,000 would go extremely far. On a more personal level, I have this expectation of walking away with a new family. You can’t do something like this without growing and changing (in a good way, of course). Most importantly though, I hope to walk away making the world a better place, not matter how small it may be.

KM: Well we are all so proud of you and are cheering you on this whole way. To wrap this up, I thought it would be fun to do a little fire round, where you can think too hard into the answer. Just give me the first thing that comes to mind.

Sneaker brand? Brookes
Hot or cold? COLD!
Night or day? Day
Wet or dry? Dry
Uphill or long distance? Long distance
Gatorade flavor? Fruit punch. NO! NO! Blue, the blue frost, or whatever it is.
Music or Silence? Silence!
Pump up song? Yes. This is my fight song.
First thing you’ll do when you cross the finish line? Cry. Probably cry. And hug all my teammates.
Elevator pitch in 10 words or less? Running across Colorado because I want to do something greater than myself.

To support Keri in her effort to raise money, you can donate today on her official donation website. All proceeds will go directly to providing nutritious meals to the refugees on the Thailand border.
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