Local couple run to build school in Africa | 2011 Best of Bellevue Sports

With 2011 nearing its close, the Reporter is taking a look back at the best that was in the world of Bellevue area sports and recreation. From now until the end of the year, we will recap the best moments, stories and athletes of our area.

Humanitarian Recognition - Liz Strathy-Merrill and Nick Merrill and Doingood Foundation, Run Baby Run

There are a bevy of individuals, organizations and groups that invest countless time in humanitarian causes in and around Bellevue. But none is so closely tied to the world of local sports like Liz Strathy-Merrill, her husband Nick Merrill and Run Baby Run.

During this past summer, the Reporter profiled the couple's journey across the state to support the construction of an addition to a school in Uganda, Africa.?The project, dubbed "Run Baby Run", was in conjunction with another Bellevue-based foundation known as "Doingood", which was founded and is operated by Amy Rogers.

Nick and Liz met Rogers through a mutual friend, but discovered their ties went back further than any of them ever knew when it was revealed the Rogers' brother John was a teammate of Strathy-Merrill when the two were swimmers at the University of Washington. John died of AIDS in 1996 and in 2005, a school in Uganda was built in his honor.

The same school that Nick and Liz ran to build an addition to this time around.

"It all just kind of came full-circle," Rogers said.?"That made it a little more special."

Prior to their most recent four-day running excursion, the Newport Shores residents ran 200 miles from Portland to their home in Bellevue to raise money to build wells in African Villages.

"It was my wife's idea," Nick Merrill said of the idea to run 100 more miles this time around. "I'm always up for a challenge."

300 miles of running in five days was the goal and before ever the actual running ever began, the couple had already raised $40,000 towards their goal.

Source: http://feeds.soundpublishing.com/~r/belsports/~3/YEywIkLpoJM/136209803.html

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