Zia has always appreciated that people run for different reasons, but he realized that not many knew about World Partnership Walk. So he decided to raise awareness in the running community.
Through Zia’s leadership, his local Running Room store – which sells shoes and other gear for runners – soon became a platform to raise awareness and funds for World Partnership Walk. Zia joined the Running Room community in May 2016 through its Run Club, which offers a series of clinics for runners who want to improve their technique and build stamina.
The store’s manager, Judy Thomson, has been involved with fundraising through the Running Room for 13 years. She oversees and participates in bake sales, bottle drives, trivia nights, popcorn movie nights, and a chili cook-off every February.
“Whatever money we collect goes to the charity,” Judy explained.
When Zia approached her, she agreed to help with World Partnership Walk, adding it to the long list of charities the Running Room is involved with.
She recalled one of the fundraising highlights they do every year: the chili cook-off. “We had 10 pots of chili. We had volunteers make the chili for us, and whatever the donations were that were given – could be two dollars, ten dollars, twenty dollars – all went towards the Orleans Runners KICK Poverty team,” she explained.