Saturday, 31 October 2009

The Marathon Man

Written by  Liana Stanley

marathonFour countries. Thirty cities. More than 60,000 miles. Almost 50 different flights. Around the world — from Chicago to Chicago — in just 30 days. It was a whirlwind flying marathon for 39-year-old Greg Krause, as he trotted the globe from September 8 through October 8 to raise awareness and funds for a mission school for orphans in Zambia.

The Macha Innovative Community School, started by Krause’s parents four years ago, houses and educates 75 orphaned and abandoned children. It is completely supported by donations, and does not take any government handouts. Thoroughly dedicated to this worthy cause, Greg has been involved for years with creative fundraising from his home in the United States while attending medical school. In 2008, he auctioned himself off to run the New York Marathon in “advertising” pajamas; California-based Green Pharmaceuticals, maker of SnoreStop, placed the winning bid of $9,000, all of which went directly to the school.

After graduating this year, Krause was looking for a new way to help before beginning his family-practice residency. “I was just looking for something different, something no one else has done before,” he told MSNBC in September. That’s when JetBlue’s “All You Can Jet Pass” caught his eye.

The pass was the airline’s promotional offer of 30 days of unlimited flights for $599. Orphan’s Promise, part of the Christian Broadcasting Network, offered to sponsor Krause on his jet-setting mission, and Greg was off and flying. He did all the work on his own, frequently able to spend only a few hours at each destination, walking the streets and handing out informational flyers, explaining the mission, and pointing people to his blog, or to the Orphan’s Promise website, if they wished to get involved.

Krause returned from his exhausting 30-day tour on October 8, ready for a long rest . . . right? Wrong! He continued his fundraising efforts by running the Chicago Marathon for donations just three days later. As of October 29, the total raised by the Chicago race and world tour stood at a little over $13,000. Not bad, Marathon Man!

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