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RAF MILDENHALL — Getting some cardio exercise and raising money for a good cause at the same time is a win-win situation, right?

That’s what organizers of a walk-athon at the base track Friday had in mind when they set up the event to support the Women of Hope Project.

And they succeeded in achieving both goals: According to Karen Hoffman, an organizer, about 50 people participated in the event, which raised some $1,700 in donations.

The aim of the Women of Hope Project, founded by Betsy Beamon, an American who works in Afghanistan, is to give purpose to the lives of Afghan women, many of whom are widowed, poor and suffering oppression in their war- torn nation.

Beamon lives in Afghan villages among the local women, assisting them in learning vocational, educational and agricultural skills.

She came to the attention of the Mildenhall military community when Maj. Steve Hoffman, commander of the 100th Comptrollers Squadron and Karen’s husband, met her while he was deployed to Camp Eggers, Afghanistan, earlier this year.

Local vendors came to the base each week for its bazaar. One of them was Beamon who would sell rugs and dolls that the Afghan women made in order to raise money for their project.

“He met her at a booth of items that the women have made. That’s how he found out about the project,” Karen Hoffman said.

Karen contacted Beamon by e-mail and asked if the unit’s spouses program could assist her. The result was the walk-athon.

“It’s not really well-known, so we were thinking that this is a way we can make people more aware about the organization,” she said.

Roughly 10 to 20 volunteers helped kick off Friday’s event. Stacy Foremski, spouse of Tech. Sgt. Anthony Foremski, was one of them.

“I’m behind it 100 percent. I hope to raise enough money to help the women get back their dignity and feel that they can support themselves,” she said.


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