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Meet the 2011 Ray of Hope Marathon Team

Jill Anderson:



Sherry L. Bonekat


I decided to run the Portland marathon this year because I’ve had a rough year on the personal front.  I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself and wondering what my purpose on this earth is, and then I read the paragraph about Ray of Hope in my Portland marathon newsletter and decided to start focusing on what I COULD do in this lifetime.  As a certified personal trainer I make the extra effort to attend to my physical and mental health and felt putting myself out there as an example of turning a bad situation into a uplifting one couldn’t hurt.  Well, running a marathon does hurt, but the rewards are greater than the pain!  I decided to up the physical ante this year and committed to performing 10 standard pushups at each mile marker because: a) I really like doing pushups and; b) fundraising is not my strong point so bringing attention to Ray of Hope through unorthodox methods is my way of making up for the funds I could not raise. Everyone has their talents and strengths, and I am going to use mine to the best of my ability on 10/10/10 to benefit a stellar organization whose mission is to support the respect and compassion we have for each other as interconnected members of the world community. That is my mission as well.    



Sherry L. Bonekat



Heidi Brill:



Heidi Brill, 35

from Portland, Oregon

MPH student and OHSU employee

Happily married, Mother of 4

I enjoy competitive walking and do atleast one 1/2 marathon every month.

I am very excited to walk the Portland 1/2 Marathon on behalf of Ray of Hope.


Maryann Brown: http://www.active.com/donate/rayofhope4all/MBrown2010


 Hi I am Maryann Brown, (67 well 68 by the Marathon) an active elder and an avid Volkswalker. I live on the coast in Waldport. I retired to Oregon from the SF Bay Area in 2003 and consider that I have moved to paradise. I love dealing with the variety of weather (fifteen minutes/fifteen miles if you don’t like what’s happening), walking (no matter the weather), trying to make my garden (yard) look more like my neighbors’, reading, doing puzzles and trying to satisfy my endless curiosity about life. I am unfamiliar with boredom.

Volkswalking (www.ava,org) takes me all over Oregon, and I am in awe of the land and my blessings in being able to live here. I travel about in a red and white MINI Cooper with a big X on the roof (no it is not a seagull target) and a trailer hitch. Wave when you see me.

I had been looking a for a way to give back some of the riches with which my life is filled when I met Teresa Gipson last year at the Portland Marathon. And here I am. Walking with a purpose! Yay!


Lori Bush:




I was motivated to fundraise for ROH since it parallels my career interest in public health and children.  I live in Austin, TX and work in public health as an RN and specifically with flu vaccines for uninsured/underinsured children.  ROH attracted me due their grassroots efforts to help make the lives easier for the children of Kenya.  I will be running the inaugural half marathon in Portland on 10/10.  I have run the Portland Marathon twice before in the 80’s. My fundraising page link is always impossible to remember.  Feel free to add the link since I think you have access to it.  Looking very forward to meeting everyone shortly.

Kind Regards,



Cristin Castro and Kelty Christman: http://www.active.com/donate/rayofhope4all/getoutofaustinwhenitsstillhot

I decided to run as a personal challenge, last year I ran in the Wachau, Austrian Wine Country.  I want to make a personal best and keep running in all the wine country worldwide.

Rusty Davis:



Anna Dean:



Charlene Engelland: http://www.active.com/donate/rayofhope4all/CEngelland


I’m a 40 year old wife to Eric and mom of 3 girls, ages 5, 10 and 12, and live in Silverdale, Wa. I was an Elem. School Counselor prior to staying home to raise my girls for the past 12 years, and have recently become a full time RN student. I have been actively involved with the missions department at my church for several years and had the amazing opportunity to travel to South Africa and Swaziland to serve orphans impacted by the HIV crisis earlier this year. I also served on the planning team for a 5K run to generate awareness for refugees in Burma, which inspired me to begin running last February. The Portland HM will be my first and I’m honored to run on behalf of Ray of Hope.

: ) Charlene Engelland


Jessica Eppley:




I am a mom of three beautiful children, Hannah 12, Thomas 9 and Lincoln 7 years old! We are a soccer family, with every family member playing soccer multiple times a week! I own and operate an early childhood school called Growing Seeds, A Learning Community with two locations in NE Portland. I can honestly say I LOVE my job and feel as though we are doing our best work in educating young people to become stewards of the environment, nurturing other humans and developing a love of learning that will guide them throughout life.

Jim Erin-Svoboda:




About a month ago I learned that my girlfriend, Molly, would be running a marathon in October. Now let me tell ya, conquering a marathon is a big deal. I ran the Seattle Rock N’ Roll Marathon in June and never thought I would feel my legs again.

Anyway, I kindly asked her if she wanted me to be there in October for her support. She didn’t say anything except gave me a look that basically said “Jim, if you are not there in October then I am going to……..”. I’ll leave that last part open for your own interpretation of her madness.

I did some research and found that the full marathon was still open for registration but the half marathon was closed except for those running for a charity. I said to myself there is no way in hell I am going to sign up to run another full marathon just to earn a couple of “brownie points” from a girl. So, I quickly chose the charity option and hoped that some of my friends and family would help me keep in the chase.

This past week Molly and I ran together a couple of times to train for our respective races. This picture was taken during one of them. I thought I was doing well keeping up with her until I saw this picture. She is smiling ear to ear while I have the thoughts of her yelling back at me “eyes up, spirits up!!” ringing through my head, and can’t help but to keep on staring down at my own two feet. She doesn’t have one bead of sweat on her while I am dripping like I just ran through a waterfall. Whether you believe she was ahead ONLY by this much while we ran together is up to you.

Now I am graciously asking you to support me in my half marathon by making a donation in my name to the Ray of Hope Foundation. I chose this charity because I believe that the Ray of Hope Foundation will successfully use the money I raise to provide programs and healthy living situations for the children of Kenya. To make a generous donation for these children, click on my link.

Oh the things we do for women.

Thank you.

– Jim Erwin-Svoboda


Maureen Geraghty

I am coming from Winston-Salem, North Carolina to run the half  marathon. I am a relatively  new runner and have never done more than a 10k so this is big for me. I turned 50 this year and  will have friends and family cheering me on. I am thrilled to know that my efforts will help your organization and will support the education and health of girls and women.

Betsy Hauenstein: http://www.active.com/donate/rayofhope4all/Hauenstein


Josh Evans:


I was well into my second month of rest, recuperation and weight gain when I heard about Ray of Hope. I had run the Eugene Marathon with far too little time to train and my body was angry with me for it and seemed to be holding onto every bite of food I gave it. The last thing I wanted to do was think about running. However, after hearing about Ray of Hope and the work they were doing, I knew I had to participate.

I had run for worthy causes before with The Race for the Cure. I had fundraised for medical and education trips to Africa by doing triathlons, but never had I been so deeply impacted by a fundraising opportunity. A 15 minute conversation on an airplane motivated me to dust off my running shoes, shed a few well earned pounds and hit the pavement. I was running the Portland Half Marathon and raising funds for Ray of Hope.

A little bit about me…

I am currently attending Portland State University’s Graduate Teaching Education Program in pursuit of my Master’s in Education.  I spend my days split between Southwest Airlines and the Oregon Employment Department. Both positions allow me to work with an incredibly diverse customer base. I strive each day to brighten the lives of those I come in contact. My favorite thing in this world is a smile. I am drawn to Ray of Hope because it exists simply to make the day brighter.

Happy to be a part of the team!


Elizabeth Fussel:



Jennae Grigg:


Born and raised in the NW; I love being outside, I love all the trees, mountains and lakes, and I even love the rain. The outdoor activities I enjoy most include skiing and snowboarding, and running.  I get excited to look beyond all the personal gains of running, and use it to help benefit others; along side myself.  I joined the Ray of Hope Foundation’s team for the Portland Half Marathon to do just that!  This is my second half marathon and I am eager to complete the challenge of not only finishing another; but also raising money to support a cause I truly believe in—and where all the money raised goes 100% to the cause (now that is impressive!)


Esther Imbuye: http://www.active.com/donate/rayofhope4all/estherimbuye


Sarah Johnson: http://www.active.com/donate/rayofhope4all/sarahrjohnson


Missy Koll:



Megan Lammers: http://www.active.com/donate/rayofhope4all/meganlammers


Cassie Mapolski: http://www.active.com/donate/rayofhope4all/cassiemapolski


Mary McNeill Evans: http://www.active.com/donate/rayofhope4all/mcneillevans


Andrea Mehigan: http://www.active.com/donate/rayofhope4all/AMehigan10


I will be walking my first half marathon this October 10, 2010. I am married 23 years to my life partner, Denis, have 2 college aged kids and one in high school, and I’ve been an exercise fan since college. I’ve enjoyed running, hiking, biking and trying to stay in shape over the years – and it definitely is more of a challenge the older I get! Lately I’ve add Pilates classes – stretching is good. I wasn’t really thinking of walking a half marathon, but was talked into it by Dr. Gipson. Thank you Teresa! I will be very busy leading up to the marathon weekend as I am the marathon coordinator for Ray of Hope foundation, and there are lots of details to attend to, but I am looking forward to participating in the Half Marathon with our team, and celebrating our fundraising efforts for such an amazing organization!

Go Ray of Hope!


Anne Nguyen:



Hi y’all!  I just moved from Houston, Texas to begin school at Lewis & Clark School of Law.  Portland is such an amazing city.  Trees and mountains win over heat and humidity any day!  I have run 15 marathons in 12 states, and the Portland Half Marathon will be a great way to make new friends and have fun training for the ING New York City Marathon in November.  It is such an honor to be able to run for the Ray of Hope Foundation.  This is my first charity team experience, and I am so excited to “run my buns off” for such a worthy cause.  They say that everything is bigger in Texas, but I challenge anyone to find bigger hearts than the ones at Ray of Hope.

See you at the finish!  And of course, happy running!

Anne K. Nguyen


Sade Onadeko:



Hello Friends,

Five years ago, I was a single carefree woman whose sole focus was advocating for small under-served communities in Africa. Today, I am a wife, mother of two and a community advocate fighting for the empowerment of African communities on the African continent and here in Portland. I have never participated in a marathon and the longest I have ever ran was 3.2 miles (Lake Merrit in Oakland CA). With my hectic life, the last thing I think about is my health or fitness. Needless to say, my body is crying from the beat down of child bearing and life in general. The Portland Marathon gives me the chance to do something for me while supporting a fantastic organization, Ray of Hope Foundation. I am very excited to be a part of team ROH and I am honored to race for an organization with such a noble cause. Plus, conquering 13.1 miles is monumental for me and will indeed give me bragging rights amongst my friends.

So, come out on 10/10  to cheer us on, scoop me off the floor or pass on the oxygen cause I’ll need it (ha ha just joking). Also visit my fundraising page and donate to Ray of Hope. Happy racing day to all.

Peace and love,


Linda Pearce:



Gabe Preston:



Joe Quinn:




I am 48 years old, 6 feet tall and 210 lbs (not exactly a runner’s frame) and I have never run more than 10 miles at a time, so this is a stretch for me.  My running these days consists of getting in shape for the Hood to Coast on an annual basis.  In the attached Hood to Coast action photo I am the athlete on the left.

Aside from running: I have a wife and 4 kids, ages 3-15, and I’m a neurologist at OHSU. I had not heard of Ray of Hope before this race, but it sounds like a wonderful program.  I’m looking forward to meeting the race team and learning more about Ray of Hope.


Latha Reddy:

http://www.active.com/donate/rayofhope4all/LReddy3 (nice page)


Jennifer Kolman:



Trish Scearce:



Claire Surma:



Dan Trawicki:



Asia Vanderbilt:



I’m Asia, and I’ve been a recreational runner for 8 years. I live in Seattle, and I ran my first full marathon 3 years ago at the peak of my cross-country training in college. Ever since I crossed that finish line, I’ve been enticed by long-distance runs. I’ve done 2 half-marathons since then and am really looking forward to increasing that number. I’m excited about Portland’s course because I’m shooting to set a PR and experience running in such a beautiful city. I chose to run for the Ray of Hope Foundation because I am a sponsor for a little boy in Kenya through the Mukaa Orphanage and have a passion for celebrating life and supporting growth in Africa. I feel this is a wonderful way to increase the work being done in Kenya and raise awareness about the program, and I am excited to be a part of the team.

I work as a graphic designer, contracting for Amazon.com and freelancing with many other small companies and individuals. If you’re interested in seeing my work, please visit my online portfolio at www.asiavanderbilt.com.

If you would like to donate to the Ray of Hope Foundation and support my half-marathon, please direct your browser to my fundraising page

Thank you!


Kathy White:


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  • The Ray of Hope Foundation

    PO Box 746
    Beaverton, OR 97075

    office phone: (503) 208-3088
    website: www.rayofhope4all.org
    email: info@rayofhope4all.org

    The Ray of Hope Foundation is a 501©(3), non-profit organization.
    Tax ID #20-0817019.

  • ROH Newsletter

    In our spring newsletter, we highlight some of our exciting new programs and partnerships, such as the Global Health Elective team-up with OHSU and the new Girls Empowerment Seminar. Check it out!