Every week since the deadly Beirut explosion, more local and international initiatives have been rising for the sole reason of providing the aid that the Lebanese people need in the wake of this massive national tragedy.
Last week, Tri For Beirut was born for the same purpose.
To support relief efforts in Lebanon, a multinational team of 5, based in the UK, is attending the massively-popular and spectacular triathlon, the Bleinheim Palace Triathlon, organized by the renowned triathlon organizer Live to Tri.
Under the name Tri For Beirut, Garren Nahabedian (Lebanese), Mark Sarraf (Lebanese), Edward Lloyd (English), Jade Jansen (Dutch), and Angelos Papanikolaou (Greek) will compete in the event, set to take place September 12th-13th.
Typically, the event is used as an opportunity for raising money to various charities and causes, mainly for Blood Cancer UK.
On their part, competing as Team Cedars, “we decided to run an initiative called Tri For Beirut to raise money and awareness for a charity that is close to our hearts,” Garren Nahabedian, speaking for the team, told The961.
The initiative started with a fundraiser set up recently with an initial target of £2,500 (approx. $3,300).
Within 24 hours after its foundation, the fundraiser surpassed half of its target and, since then, the team has raised around $6,500 and their target continues to grow bigger.
While the donations continue to pour in, “Team Cedars have been training every day under all weather conditions (thanks to London) by either swimming, biking or running,” which are the three activities involved in the sporting event.
“It’s a challenge we are proud to face!” Nahabedian said.
He noted that the idea of Tri For Beirut came from the fact that the Team Cedars members were all living abroad. “We felt limited in our capacity to help rebuild Beirut as we are not on the ground.”
Most of our memories while growing up were forged in the heart of Gemmayze and Mar Mikhael, which are currently in complete rubble. We are devastated and can’t imagine what the people are going through.
The fundraiser was started in partnership with the independent Lebanese NGO Offre Joie, which, in turn, has been working to restore and rehabilitate homes affected by the blast.
“This is an initiative to support those who have lost their homes and local business owners to help them get back on their feet and try and save whatever is left of our heritage,” Mark Sarraf explained.
While the Bleinheim Palace Triathlon is itself a great target for such an initiative, Team Cedars do not intend to stop there.
Going forth, “we are planning to continue our momentum by signing up for the next triathlons and marathons,” Sarraf affirmed.
But for now, the September event is the focus.
To support Team Cedars’ initiative and, in turn, help rebuild Beirut, you can donate to their GoFundMe campaign Tri For Beirut.