Night of Nets Hosts 5K Race to End Malaria
by Jordan Van Dyke (B.A. '17)
On April 30, 200 runners laced up their running shoes for a 5K on the campus of Cornerstone University. The second annual Night of Nets 5K race was a race to end malaria—a part of the Night of Nets campaign, founded by Cornerstone's Director of Athletics Chip Huber and a group of athletes.
The 5K race, hosted in partnership with World Vision, welcomed family members, children, and friends of the university to run or walk 3.2 miles in support of the campaign. For $10, each participant was registered for the race and received a night of nets t-shirt. Proceeds from the race went to help purchase bednets for families at risk for malaria by protecting them from mosquito bites as they sleep.
The Night of Nets campaign has grown substantially throughout the past 4 years. There are now over 30 Night of Nets partner schools and over 20,000 families have received a bednet through the Night of Nets initiative. Cornerstone University continues to hold Night of Nets athletic events throughout the year.
A group of students from CU also traveled to a United Nations Foundation conference in Washington, D.C. this past February. Cornerstone student Jacob Rhodes said, "During the week, we met with senators and representatives, including Michigan senator Debbie Stabenow, to encourage funding to help end malaria globally. This was an opportunity for our team to connect with the UN sustainable development goals."
This June, a group of 23 students and faculty from Cornerstone University will travel to Zambia, a sub-saharan African nation, to distribute these bednets, pray over the sick, and visit area schools to minister to the people there. The team will be involved in bed net distribution in both the Ndola and Lusaka communities through Jubilee Centre's network of 150 churches in Zambia. They will also assist with health care workshops for maternal and infant care, orphan care construction projects, soccer clinics and matches, and more. For updates during the Zambia trip, check out the CU Zambia trip blog.
Malaria still takes the lives of about 1,500 people in Africa each night. Children and pregnant mothers are most susceptible to contracting the disease. Please pray for the team as they travel to Zambia, and for all those at risk for contracting malaria.
In an interview with Shelley Irwin of WGVU radio, Huber said, "The one thing that I wish everyone knew about malaria is that it is preventable. This global pandemic feels so big, but the reality is that every net does matter."