Over $25,000 raised for global education during Move4Mona Walk/Run

Participants offer smiles and waves along the walk route.
The Mona Foundation information table featured brochures describing where and what donations are used for.

More than 100 people gathered at the Edmonds Center for the Arts Saturday to participate in the fourth annual Edmonds Move4Mona Walk/Run, raising money for the Mona Foundation, a global education community that focuses on equalizing the playing field for millions of children living in poverty.

Mona Foundation founder Mahnaz Javid shared the humble beginnings of the foundation that began in 1999 in Edmonds.

“This is our 25th anniversary,” she said. “For 25 years we have been here and for 25 years we have worked with incredible people here and throughout the U.S. and have gone from supporting four kids in 1999 from Picnic Point in Edmonds, to supporting 4.2 million students with 41 partnerships in 23 countries.”

Javid extended her deep gratitude to everyone in attendance and invited them to attend the Mona Foundation 25th anniversary celebration event Oct. 5, at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.

Edmonds resident and organizer Shiva Ridell, shares how she started the Move4Mona walk/run in Edmonds.

Edmonds resident and organizer Shiva Ridell related how five years ago she had an idea to raise money for the Mona Foundation and did a walk in Edmonds by herself to see how it might work. The next year, Ridell and 16 friends did the first Move4Mona walk/run. Each year since more people participate and appreciate knowing that 100% of their donations helps those who need it most, she said.

“Mona Foundation, Move4Mona 5K Walk/Run is a fun and inspiring event that brings the community together.” Ridell said. “Every step we take today will have a positive impact on someone’s life tomorrow. It is a celebration of movement, unity and generosity where every step counts.”

Mona Foundation founder Mahnaz Javid and Edmonds Mayor Mike Rosen.

Edmonds Mayor Mike Rosen visited with participants before the event and gave opening remarks.

“On this beautiful day and this beautiful place, it’s hard not to feel privileged and charmed, but it may not be so much for everybody else in the world – in part because of where they were born, when they were born, and what gender they were born. Right now over 250 million children do not have access to education – that is more than all the people who live in Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand combined, and most of those young people are girls.”

Rosen added that the Mona Foundation is dedicated to empowering individuals and communities through initiatives and education with a specific focus on girls.

“So today you might be talking a nice walk on a nice day, but because of your walk and because of your donation, what you are really doing is unleashing the human potential and giving wings to those who previously could only see the sky.” Rosen said.

The 2024 Move4Mona Walk/Run surpassed its goal of raising $25,000 and connected the community and businesses together for a common goal of positive change.

Tomiko Kausal-Hayes

“It was great to support the foundation that helps so many, and the community, and getting fit is always a plus,” said participant Tomiko Kausal-Hayes.

Raffle gift prizes were donated by individuals as well as local businesses, including Yoga Sanctuary, ECA, Ombu Salon and Spa, Housewares, Edmonds Theatre, Revelations Yogurt, Aw Pottery and Wooden Spoon.

Move4Mona team members Iyoko Okano and Lee Lang give out raffle tickets.
Raffle winner Melody Benton with her choice.
One of many participants’ “best friends” at the event.
Participants celebrate after completing the event.

Sponsors for the 2024 Move4Mona 5K Walk/Run were Cascadia Art Museum, Café Louvre, Head 2 Toe Spine and Sports Therapy, Ombu Salon and Spa, Housewares, AW Pottery, Yoga Sanctuary and Hunni Water.

Donations may still be made at www.monafoundation.org/move4mona.

— Story and photos by Misha Carter

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