Members of the Government, celebrities, athletes and supporters ran the Bucharest Marathon to support Hope and Homes for Children

On October 9th, more than 400 runners competed in the different events of the 9th edition of the Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest Marathon for the children supported by Hope and Homes for Children. Among these were Dragoș Doroș, the President of ANAF (National Agency for Fiscal Administration), Paul Gheorghiu, head of the Prime Minister’s Office, Claudiu Vrînceanu, Secretary of State with the Ministry of Economy, Commerce and Relationship with the Business Environment Mihai Lisețchi, Secretary of State within the Ministry for Public Consultation and Civic Dialogue, Cristian Botan, advisor with the Prime-Minister’s Office, Dragoș Bucurenci, the presenter of the “Survivor” Show on PRO TV as well as the spokesperson of Hope and Homes for Children, actor Vladimir Drăghia, national champion in duathlon, triathlon and aquathlon Ciprian Bălănescu, employees of Deutsche Bank and RSM România, Team Hope Performer (consisting of Cristian Vorovenci, Andrei Ștefana, Sergiu Ciobanu and Nicolae Soare), as well as other amateur runners who chose to support our programmes: very poor families – helping them raise their children instead of abandoning them in state care. 50 volunteers supported Team Hope members both at the Hope and Homes for Children tent and on route, at the hydration point.

Saturday, October 8th, was dedicated to the children who ran the “Uniqa Insurance Children’s Race” in Constitutiei Square. This was a very good opportunity for the 29 children from “Pinocchio” Institution in Bucharest to receive backpacks and sport shoes from Accenture Romania. 

On Sunday, government officials, celebrities, athletes, employers of different companies and supporters put on Team Hope’s blue T-shirts and exceeded their limits to support Romania’s vulnerable children. The runners ran more than 7,000 km altogether, taking part in all the events of the competition: marathon (42.195 km), half-marathon (21.097 km), relay race (4 x cca. 10.5 km) and the popular race (3.6 km). Each Team Hope runner raises money for the projects of the organization (a minimum of 500 lei) or directs a part of the entry fee towards Hope and Homes for Children. 

Four Government officials each ran 10.5 km as part of the the RunGov-HHC team in the relay race to support the children included in the Hope and Homes for Children programmes. Claudiu Vrînceanu, Secretary of State with the Ministry of Economy and an old supporter of our organization teamed up with Dragoș Doroș, President of ANAF, Paul Gheorghiu, head of the Prime Minister’s Office and Mihai Lisețchi, Secretary of State within the Ministry for Public Consultation and Civic Dialogue. Cristian Botan, advisor with the Prime-Minister’s Office, joined them and it was the first time he ran a half-marathon (21 km) and the third time he participated with Team Hope in a sports competition.

Dragoș Doroș, President of ANAF, said ”Although the weather was rather cold, hearts were warm at the Hope and Homes for Children tent! Everyone wanted to run and their commitment was very important! We ca say that state employees step away from their office and start running and they do this for children, because children are the most important citizens in this country. I have been running for 7 years and at first, I had to stop and explain to people why the traffic is stopped for a running event. This is something very natural and I am happy that there are more and more people running.”

We are constantly being reminded how important children are and that they are the future of this country. No one can dispute that. I am very impressed and grateful, as a citizen when I see private initiatives that put into practice this wonderful message. I am glad to be able to contribute to promoting the message of Hope and Homes for Children. Congratulations for what you do and best of luck for the future!”, stated Mihai Lisețchi, Secretary of State within the Ministry for Public Consultation and Civic Dialogue.

21 km, 2 hours and 40 minutes later my race ended. However, the race we all need to run to provide children in orphanages with a proper destiny is not over yet. If you share my feelings that each of us should run in this race, then I encourage you to learn more about Hope and Homes for Children Romania and to support its programmes”, Cristian Botan, advisor with the Prime-Minister’s Office. 

For Vladimir Drăghia Sunday was a day when he did two things for the first time: he ran a full marathon (42 km) and put on the Team Hope T-shirt for the first time. ”I can honestly say that Team Hope chose me. I have known several people from Hope and Homes for Children for a while now, so I chose to run a marathon for this organization for the first time. I have been practicing sports for many years. I practiced swimming until I was 19 years old and I believe it is my obligation to be an example for others and show them that people can live a healthy life. As far as I know, there were more than 14,000 people who entered the Marathon! It is a real phenomenon and I am very happy that Romania is part of it!”, said Vladimir. Up to this point, he has taken part in two other sport events running on shorter distances – the Brasov International Marathon (10 km) and the TriChallenge Herbalife Brașov, for the individual Olympic event. 

His participation in this event was also a first for Dragoș Bucurenci, civic activist and spokesperson for Homes for Children: he ran the half-marathon (21 km), after he ran 10 km this spring at the OMV Petrom Bucharest International Half-marathon for the children supported by our organisation. ”My greatest motivation were my colleagues from Hope and Homes for Children who set an objective 18 years ago – to close down all old-type institutions for children in Romania. This seems a huge undertake, but they manage to implement it, one institution at a time and, in a few years, they will succeed in reaching their aim. So I decided to follow their example and I kept my promise and ran 21 km, one kilometer at a time”, said Dragoș.

Team Hope Performer consisting of Cristian Vorovenci, Andrei Ștefana, Nicolae Soare and Sergiu Ciobanu ranked first in the male relay race with a time of 2h13’06” and dedicated their award to the children that Hope and Homes for Children supports to remain with their families and enjoy a happy childhood. Ciprian Bălănescu, national champion in duathlon, triathlon and aquathlon ranked 11 in the overall standings with a time of 2h39’42”. Raised in the child protection system, Ciprian wants to show that ”nothing is impossible, you just need to want to do it”.

During the 2 days of the Bucharest International Marathon, the Hope and Homes for Children tent in Constitutiei Square was animated by 50 volunteers from our organization and from World Class, who enthusiastically supported the runners both at the tent and at the hydration point (at km 4.3 and 25.8), where they offered them water and encouragement. Among volunteers was also musician Zoli Toth (Zoli Toth Project) who ran for our oganisation at the previous editions of the marathon and this time he chose to support the runners as a volunteer. 

The Bucharest Marathon is a competition organized by the Bucharest Running Club Association and its mission is to facilitate the access of individuals, communities and companies in achieving personal objectives through a healthy and active lifestyle, while giving them the possibility to have a positive impact in the society. Currently there are more than 20 causes partnered with OMV Petrom Bucharest Half-Marathon and Raiffeisen Bank Bucharest Marathon which raise EUR 50,000 to 100,000 per year for community, social, education, and ecological projects. This is Team Hope’s fifth participation in a running competition, with more than 1,400 runners and 250 volunteers choosing to support the programmes of Hope and Homes for Children. 

Thank you to our partners: World Class, Radisson Blu, Deutsche Bank, RSM România, TentEvent, Elevate, Aqua Queen, Oracle, Accenture, Trupa lui Biluță.