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Published September 14th, 2022
Racers compete for charity in JF Kapnek Fun Run
The?Chinyakare Ensemble performs during the JF Kapnek Fun Run at Moraga Commons. Photo Casey Scheiner

Local running enthusiasts descended upon Moraga Commons Aug. 28 to participate in the JF Kapnek Fun Run, a 5-kilometer event to raise money for food and education for children of Zimbabwe.
The first JF Kapnek Fun Run since 2019, the race saw many modifications during its hiatus, including a location change from Miramonte High School to Moraga Commons and the addition of a carnival with games, a bouncy house, and a rock wall. The original charitable spirit of the race - to reduce poverty and mortality and improve education and health for the children of Zimbabwe through the JF Kapnek Trust - plus other traditions such as a kids run/walk and an arts and crafts table with face painting, is what has kept altruistic joggers coming back since 2003.
"We're a fundraising arm for the Kapnek Trust in Zimbabwe, which improves child health by establishing preschools that give kids vaccines, medicine and food," JF Kapnek Executive Director Daniel Robbins said. "The Fun Run is a cornerstone of our fundraising efforts. It helps raise community awareness to increase donations. Plus, this event alone generates enough money to refurbish and run two preschools."
In addition to raising money for Zimbabwean kids, the 5K highlighted Zimbabwean cultural customs. Most prominently, it featured the Chinyakare Ensemble, an Oakland group dedicated to performing traditional Zimbabwean music and dance. "Music is a universal language, so we love to share it," DeLisa Branch-Nealy, a member of the Chinyakare Ensemble, said. "We've performed at the Fun Run since it began."
The music enthralled many younger participants, as an abundance of kids danced to the tunes. Additionally, the children enjoyed the new additions to the Fun Run. "We wanted to add more activities for the kids, so we started a carnival with sports games, a rock wall, and a bouncy house obstacle course," race organizer Amy Campbell explained. "It allows us to connect with a wider range of people."
"I've been doing this run since I was in elementary school," Mackie Hall, now a sophomore at Campolindo High School, said. "I love that I get to run for a good cause."

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