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Apr-28-2008 03:03printcommentsVideo

Independence Students' Race for Hope Will Benefit Medical Teams (VIDEO)

A positive and inspirational video story about Oregon youth from reporter Tim King.

Marcos Ceja of San Antonio Restaurant gives the girls a donation to their fundraising effort to help Medical Teams International.
Marcos Ceja of San Antonio Restaurant gives the girls a donation to their fundraising effort to help Medical Teams International.
Photos and video by: Tim King

(INDEPENDENCE, Ore.) - Five high school students from Central High in Independence were inspired recently by a display they saw in Tigard, Oregon, from Medical Teams International called the Real. Life. Exhibit. The five girls said they were highly impacted by the experience, and now they are doing what they can to offset some of the serious medical problems, particularly those involving children, that the medical teams address through its highly acclaimed and endless work that takes place here, as well as abroad.

Brittany Hinds, a senior at Central High School, spent time last year in Peru where she worked with kids an orphanage, getting first hand experience. For her, the display in Tigard reminded her of things she had seen in person. "There was a section where they showed you the orphanages and what the kids in the orphanages were going through and that really touched me personally and I said 'yeah, I've seen that, I know what that is like.'"

The girls were moved to create an outreach project of their own, and are now planning a fundraising event at Central High called the Race for Hope May 10th to provide money for the team, and they are also visiting local businesses to raise money to contribute to Medical Teams International.

Molly Mack, a senior who spearheaded the project, is very passionate about the need to spend time helping others when people have the ability to do it, "I just want to have a lot of awareness shown and have other people get on fire and get real excited and do the same thing."

While these girls are inspired, they are also inspiring to others, according to their youth pastor and church support team. Ben Peterson says he supports them as much as possibly but the teens are organized and generally have problems resolved before he even asks.

Elisa Lehto, a youth support team member from The SHACK in Independence, agrees with Peterson. In her view, the future of this nation is bright if we have girls with this type of motivation and good will in our society.

Junior Jenn Lippert, says it is important for people to be involved and a good investment of time. "I think it is totally possible for kids our age to make a difference."

And what better way to raise money than by having fun? Sophomore Jordan Huffman believes using athletics is a good way to bring attention to this important cause and be healthy at the same time, "I think it is a great way because people just love to exercise and just get out there and walk, so anyone can do it."

Businesses in Monmouth and Independence, and even parents and family friends are getting involved and helping these students do something that, frankly, not enough students do.

Marcos Ceja of San Antonio Restaurant says these are girls that have the right stuff. He believes their work can lend a true aid to the cause of Medical Teams International and says his business like many others, is happy to contribute what he can to young people who are organizing events to help others.

The Race for Hope will be held on Saturday, May 10th at the Central High school’s track in Independence, Oregon. There is a kid’s dash at 1:00 PM (400m) and the race starts at 1:30 PM (run/walk 3k).

Registration starts at noon. All proceeds do directly to Medical Teams International. You can email them at

If you need assistance in learning how to make a contribution to this project, you can also call Ben Peterson at 503 881-3970. ---------------------------------------------------------

Here is the video report on the exciting project and the motivational aspects of highly inspired teens who feel they have no choice but to help:


Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Elisa April 30, 2008 12:39 pm (Pacific time)

I'm so glad that you were able to see this here! Please, tell others around you and if you have ANY questions, e-mail us!! Thanks so much everyone!!

Polk County Mom April 29, 2008 1:36 am (Pacific time)

Glad to hear about some kids doing good things, we will take our family now that we know about this great effort.

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