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Actor Edward Norton to Run NYC 26.2 With Maasai Warriors

 

 

EDWARD NORTON TO RUN NY
MARATHON WITH MAASAI WARRIORS

TO
RAISE FUNDS FOR CONSERVATION

Campaign will combine
corporate support with a web-based grassroots fundraising drive with RMJM and
AECOM on board as founding sponsors.

 


Actor
and longtime conservation activist Edward Norton will run the NY Marathon as
part of a team raising awareness and financial support for the Maasai Wilderness
Conservation Trust, a Kenya-based conservation organization. Norton and 3 Maasai
warriors will be leading 30 people from all walks of life running the ING New
York City Marathon on Nov. 1st. The organization has launched a
web-based fundraising effort (www.maasaimarathon.org) to bring together
corporate sponsors and a grassroots network of donors sponsoring the team of
runners. Norton helped create the U.S. non-profit partner of the organization
and serves as President of the organization‰Ûªs Board.  It will be the first marathon for Norton
and his Maasai teammates, most of whom have never traveled away from their
community in southern Kenya.

 

The
campaign will raise funds
for the
Trust’s programs in conservation, education and
health care as part of its mission to promote conservation and sustainable
economic development
. The Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust works in partnership with the Maasai community to foster
practices that benefit people and wildlife as well as the ecosystem that they
both depend on. The legendary biodiversity of the East African grasslands
ecosystem and the famous culture of the Maasai people are both threatened by
competition between people and wildlife, water shortages, sub-division of land
and urban migration.  The urgency of these issues is currently exacerbated
by a severe drought taking place in Kenya.

 

In
initiating the marathon campaign, Norton and the Maasai Wilderness Conservation
Trust are partnering with two major corporations committing both financial
capacity and services critical to the effort. RMJM, an international
architecture and design firm with special expertise in constructing healthcare
facilities, and
AECOM (NYSE: ACM), a
global provider of professional technical and management support services with
expertise in environmental planning and management, are the founding sponsors of
the project and are fielding staff members on the Marathon
team.

 

In
addition to pledging funds and fielding the team, RMJM and AECOM have also come
on board offering much-needed professional services to MWCT.  Specifically RMJM is designing, planning
and funding a state-of-the-art health clinic for the Maasai community, some of
whom currently walk up to 60 miles for care. The health clinic will be designed
by a team from RMJM‰Ûªs Global Health and Science Studio in New York and will
follow sustainable design principles. The acclaimed healthcare organization
Partners in Health has provided strategic advice and expertise toward designing
a community health strategy.
AECOM
is providing strategic organizational planning, conservation strategy,
eco-tourism business and marketing guidance to advance the Maasai Wilderness
Conservation Trust‰Ûªs conservation and education efforts.

 

“I got involved
with the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust about 8 years ago and I really
believe in the work they do,‰Û  notes
Norton.  ‰ÛÏTheir approach to
conservation is a model for the kind of partnerships we need to forge if we’re
going to solve the puzzle of being human but living sustainably within our
environment.  We came up with the idea of raising funds by fielding a team
of runners because the Maasai are born runners, runners as a matter of culture
and heritage.  I’ve never run a marathon before and the difficulty of
it is both intimidating and motivating, especially when it’s for a cause like
this, and having RMJM and AECOM on board on this
initiative is incredibly exciting å_å_å_‰ÛÒ like a turbo-booster on our
efforts.”

 

RMJM‰Ûªs
CEO, Peter Morrison, who will himself run in the marathon, said: ‰ÛÏAs a global
firm, we have a global responsibility to help those who need it most. Quality
healthcare is a serious need for the Maasai people as very few clinics exist
and, as one of the foremost healthcare design firms in the world, we believe we
can make a significant contribution to a healthy and sustainable future for the
Maasai. We are thrilled to be working with Edward Norton to put our architects‰Ûª
skills to work for a fantastic cause.‰Û

 

‰ÛÏThe
goals of this alliance closely mirror those of AECOM ‰ÛÒ to enhance and sustain
the world‰Ûªs built, natural and social environments,‰Û said John M. Dionisio,
AECOM president and chief executive officer. ‰ÛÏWe are proud to support the
efforts of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust as it protects the Maasai‰Ûªs
land and their way of life.‰Û

 

The marathon is the premier annual event of the New York Road
Runners, which will have 6,800 runners representing more than 80 charities with
a combined fundraising goal of $21 million. The 40th running of the
marathon is expected to draw more than 40,000 runners.

 

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