Great Bend First United Methodist Church and Trinity Methodist Church will co-sponsor the Shoot For No Malaria contest Sunday, April 14 at the GBHS Panther Activity Center. All proceeds will go to “Imagine No Malaria.” Funds received will purchase mosquito netting and help in educating people in tropical, under-developed nations where malaria is still a menacing killer.
“Members of both the women’s and men’s basketball teams from Barton will be helping,” said Jann Sherman, one of the event organizers. “We are having separate brackets for girls and boys of school age.”
Age brackets for grades 3-8 begin at 2 p.m. High school and older will participate at 3 p.m.
“We hope to have brackets for ages under 29, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60-plus if we get enough adult participants,” Sherman said. “From the feedback we’ve received so far, the adults seem interested in challenging each other.”
The campaign is an effort by United Methodist churches worldwide to eliminate malaria deaths by the end of 2015.
Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease that causes flu-like symptoms, including fever, vomiting and severe joint pain. Left untreated, it can cause convulsions, organ failure and death. It is a disease that was wiped out in the United States in the early 1950s through a concentrated effort like this.
Of all the varieties of mosquitoes in the world, only a select handful carry the parasite that leads to the most severe cases of malaria, according to information on the Centers for Disease Control website.
While many drug therapies and insecticides have been discovered and introduced, a constant battle with resistance continues to be waged. This is why mosquito nets are so important, and the event is just one of several underwritten by the United Nations Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Sleeping under treated nets is one mechanical way preventing the mosquito bite that carries the malaria parasite from person to person, according to the CDC. In addition to nets, “Imagine No Malaria” concentrates on prevention, education, treatment, and communication.
“The free-throw shootout is a fun way to bring families in the community together to bring about change in the world,” said Pastor Lennie Maxwell with the Great Bend First United Methodist Church.
Application forms are available at the schools, Trinity United Methodist and First United Methodist Church offices, or at the event. Donations are requested as the admission fee. Medals will be awarded for 1st and 2nd place to all school age participants.
Imagine No Malaria website http://www.imaginenomalaria.org
Centers for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/history