Bahrain gears up for charity raft race
Manama, February 19, 2012
Preparations are underway for one of Bahrain's biggest annual fundraising events, the 36th Charity Raft Race to be held at Al Bander Hotel and Resort in Sitra on April 6.
The charity race, run by the Rotary Club of Salmaniya, saw 26 teams take part in last year's event, which raised BD20,000. The organisers are this time expecting up to 30 teams to sign up for this major fundraising event.
The event will consist of two races, one for men in open waters at the resort and a mixed event inside the lagoon area.
Each team will comprise 10 participants, with eight on the raft and two as reserves. The cost of entering a team is BD350 ($929).
Funds collected at the event will be donated to charities fighting sickle cell disease, said organising committee chairman Khalid Turk.
"We are hoping that the event this year will raise funds amounting to around BD30,000 to fight sickle cell disease," he said.
The rafts will be provided by the rotary club and participating teams will be able to practise and attend training sessions one month prior to the race.
"We fully understand that these are difficult times, with the financial situation as it is around the world," remarked Turk.
"We accept that it is harder to get money from companies to take part or to sponsor the event, but there are still needy families and children so we will try to do our best to raise as much as we can," he stated.
"The efforts of the Rotarians and all those who contribute to the raft race are always magnificent and this year I am sure will be no different.
"In total, we hope to receive plenty of participation to allow us to collect maximum donations.
"The race will be a day of fun for families and the event is free for spectators to attend and watch."
The raft race is the club's main fundraiser of the year, with all proceeds going towards local charities and community projects.
The charities to benefit from this year's race will be decided by the club's board and announced after the race.
The raft race was first introduced during the late 1970s and since then, more than BD2 million raised by participants has been donated to projects such as the Isa Town Rehabilitation Centre, Health Ministry, Al Noor Institute, Uco Parents Care Centre and Bahraini Society for Mental Retardation.-TradeArabia News Service