The Lewa Marathon will bring together two seemingly disparate but strong, long-term Wishcamper family interests, TNC and Africa (particularly Kenya), as well as bring together mother and son as runners.
Joe and I have been Maine Chapter supporters and leaders for 30 years. Over this period of time, we have both served on the Maine Chapter's Board of Trustees and have both served in the Chairperson capacity. I co-chaired the St. John River Capital Campaign and we helped seed the Maine Chapter's commitment to supporting the early years of TNC's fledgling International program. We are currently engaged in an innovative philanthropic giving circle providing funding to TNC international projects, one of which has been the Northern Rangelands Trust including the Lewa Conservancy. I had the privilege of visiting Lewa in 2010 and seeing first-hand its far-ranging impact on the natural habitat, the wildlife and the surrounding, local, human communities. My favorite picture from that trip was not of the many lions and rhinos and elephants but of the women benefiting from Lewa's micro-finance initiative and proudly wearing t-shirts with the motto, "Fighting Poverty through Wildlife Conservation" boldly emblazoned on their backs.
Our first family trip to Africa, 27 years ago, was when our sons, Henry and Rick, were 13 and 11 respectively. Rick became a passionate lover of all thinks African on that trip. He has returned to Kenya more than a dozen times and has an "adopted" family there. He and I will travel to their tiny village outside Kakamega in Western Kenya for a family visit and then join the TNC team for the race. Rick will run the marathon and I will run the 1/2.
This will be a very special event for both of us. We are both very excited to be able to participate and help raise funds for the Tusk Trust. We hope that you will support our efforts! Thank you!