75% raised in total: $30,005


The 5KM Walkathon is a family-friendly fundraising event which supports the important work of Ratanak International in Cambodia whose lush landscape and friendly faces make it hard to imagine that only 35 years ago, the country was torn apart by genocide. 5KM Walkathon is organized by a group of passionate Ratanak Toronto volunteers who believe that — though they maybe weak and insignificant individually, together with God’s leading — they are crazy enough to believe that we can all BRING HOPE and freedom to the vulnerable. We are dedicated to walking alongside Ratanak International, breaking the cycle of poverty, exploitation and abuse in Cambodia.
Ratanak International is a Christ-centered organization committed to serving Cambodia by being an agent of change in its social, economic, and spiritual landscape. Since 1990, Ratanak International has funded emergency relief, medical, education and infrastructure projects all over the country. In 2012, Ratanak International launched its anti-exploitation projects which focuses on the prevention, restoration and re-integration of girls in the sex trafficking industry. All proceeds raised from the 5KM Walkathon will be given to Ratanak International.
Meeting point: Erindale Park (Area B), 1695 Dundas Street West, Mississauga, intersection of Dundas Street West and Mississauga Road. Area B is only a few steps away from the Dundas Street West entrance.

About the Park: Erindale Park is the largest park in the city of Mississauga (west of Toronto). The park offers walking trails, fishing, canoeing and spectacular views of the Credit River and tall ravines. The park is inviting to bird watchers, photographers and anyone at all who enjoys getting back to nature. This area of the Credit River also supports runs of Rainbow and Brown Trout, Chinook, Coho and Atlantic Salmon.

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About Larry Dearlove

Larry is a marathon runner whose life was changed nine years ago when he found out about child sex trafficking in Cambodia. Larry lives in Ontario, Canada with his lovely wife Gloria and their two daughters. You can read his thoughts about God, anti-sex trafficking and running through his blog.

Walkathon background

The idea of the Ratanak 5KM Walkathon came in 2010 when I prepared for running in Mississauga Marathon. I noticed my estimated finishing time would allow me to qualify for the Boston Marathon. At the time I thought of organizing an event that could allow more participants to raise funds on their own, thinking I could possibly use some of the Boston publicity to help create a buzz. I settled on a small 5 km race and waited. I did not have to wait long as I have come to know someone who organized for a race to fundraise for building wells in Africa through an advertisement in a running magazine. She shared her wisdom with me how to organize race like this. I also shared with her the work of Ratanak in Cambodia. She was very moved by the plight of the children as she also has two young daughters. I was hoping one day she would be the one organizing for this Ratanak 5km Walkathon. After waiting for a long time, I realized she was not going to let me off the hook from organizing this walkathon. Fast forward to now, we find ourselves putting together our 6th annual 5KM Walkathon.

“So with nothing more than a pair of running shoes, I’m taking a run at the big and frightening problem of the billion-dollar-a-year sale of children. And, I have found peace and tranquility through training in my ravine. In trying to bring freedom, I have experienced freedom myself.” – Running the Good Race, Larry Dearlove

See Larry's article in the March/April 2015 issue of Running Room magazine (p. 63).

See Larry’s article in the March/April 2015 issue of Running Room magazine (p. 63).

Why $25 252?

Last year’s goal was $20 052: the 52 was in relation to my running in kilometres, and more importantly, we believe it was offering Jesus our five loaves and two fish. In a span of a few short weeks, approximately 300 people raised over $42 000. We had a lot of positive events happen to influence the amount of money raised. Neil Boron of WDCX walked from Buffalo, NY, Mississauga’s MP Wladyslaw Lizon mentioned the walk in the House of Commons, and many other examples.
I mentioned before that I am conservative so staying true to my character, I arrived at our goal.
I took last year’s original estimate $20 000 and multiplied it by 26 percent. The 26 is a healthy increase and also the number of miles I will run in The Pittsburgh Marathon this spring. I then added the number 52 to the end as my three long races this year will end up totaling 52 miles.
The total I arrived at was $25 252. 
I am reminded of an interview I did many years ago in which I was asked the question how much money I hoped to raise in an upcoming marathon. My answer was “not enough” for whatever amount I raise, children are still being exploited in Cambodia, so I am not raising enough.
I went on to tell the interviewer that whatever amount I raise will be more than if I had stayed at home and did nothing. We offer Jesus our 5 loaves and 2 fish. In the end, He decides what the final numbers are to be. Whatever money and awareness we raise is more than if we had stayed at home and did nothing. The money raised allows Ratanak International to help as many hurting Cambodians as possible.

Final thoughts

I think in some ways our society is a lot like an old image I have stored away in my memory. I see the picture of the three monkeys with one covering his eyes (see no evil), one covering his ears (hear no evil), and one covering its mouth (speak no evil).
My blessing to those who decide to participate in this fundraiser on June 17, 2017:

  • I bless you with eyes of grace so as you learn more about the children in Cambodia, you will not close your eyes and shy away, but you will look past the obvious to the unseen and have your eyes open to hope and possibilities that you could have never imagined.
  • I bless you with ears that learn to never accept the thinking of the day that this issue of sexual exploitation of children is too big, that you are too small and this problem is better left alone.  I pray your ears never learn to tune out the cries of the poor and you use these as your fuel for advocating and bringing justice to these precious children.
  • I bless you with the mouth of boldness as you learn which area of your life matches best your skills to become and stay involved in giving a voice to the voiceless.
  • I bless you with a tender heart that never hardens but at the same time never breaks at the stories you are to hear.
  • I bless you with a strong back to carry these children’s burdens sometimes when they need it most.
  • Lastly, I bless you with feet that move swiftly, never stumble, and never grow tired of moving you into new and sometimes frightening places.
  • This Campaign has ended. No more pledges can be made.