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Church raising funds to eradicate malaria; event Tuesday

Mar 4, 2014 - From staff reports

The first event is a Decadent Dessert party at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Riverton United Methodist Church is hosting a series of events in March and April to help in the effort to eradicate malaria worldwide. Funds raised will support prevention, education, communication and treatment of the disease.

The public is invited to a Decadent Dessert party at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the church, 1116 W. Park Ave. Admission is free. Lander pastor Mark Calhoun will give a presentation about his work in Africa.

On April 6, the church will host a viewing of the film "Mary and Martha," an HBO production starring Hilary Swank that tells the true story of two mothers whose sons die of malaria and become activists to combat the disease.

On Easter, April 20, the church will host a free breakfast at 9:15 a.m. (after the 8 a.m. service and before the 10:30 a.m. service). Everyone is welcome.

Fundraiser

Free will offerings will be taken at each event, and donations can be made at the church office or by texting MOM to 27722 to make a credit card donation to UMC/Imagine No Malaria.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Foundation in their global push to educate and equip affected populations with the resources to eradicate malaria. Since 2005, UMCOR has trained nearly 6,000 health care workers in more than 300 clinics and distributed 1.2 million mosquito nets. It is estimated these efforts have saved 2.4 million lives, mostly the lives of children under the age of 5.

Malaria is caused by parasites spread by mosquitoes, and even in relatively mild cases it can cause high fever, chills, flu-like symptoms and anemia, which can be especially dangerous for pregnant women. Children who survive severe malaria can suffer lifelong mental disabilities. Malaria's economic impact is estimated to cost billions of dollars in lost productivity every year.

For more information, e-mail Pastor Mark Rader at pastor@rivumc.com.

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