FLAME IT! Burger will celebrating its 13th anniversary with a running event—Flame It Burger Run – on May 17 at the SM City Cebu car park, partnering up with Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) to help children under the CCSC’s grassroots running program.

The running event will be highlighted with the men’s and women’s open 13-kilometer, 6K and 3K division. They decided to go for a 13K to commemorate the company’s anniversary.

CCSC chairman Ed Hayco said that he is happy with their partnership for the grassroots program, which can help transform the lives of the less fortunate children in Barangay Guba.

“This is a start of a long lasting partnership with them. Flame It! lends help on their own little way and we want that to be an inspiration to other companies,” Hayco told reporters.

Hayco was joined by Louie Villacin, Flame IT’s vice president for corporate development, Ella Villacin, Flame IT’s chief operation officer, Mary Joy Tabal, a two-time Milo Marathon queen; John Philip Dueñas, multi-titled coach and triathlete and Joel Juarez, technical race director of Coco Running.

“We have included in the race the 1.5-kilometer exclusive run for these children to give them a feel of an actual race. The grassroots program needs public support to make it sustainable,” said Ella, who is also into running.

Ella said that aside from helping the beneficiaries, one of the aims is to get people involved in healthy activities, especially this summer.

The CCSC grassroots running program in Barangay Guba, Cebu was spearheaded by Tabal and her long-time coach Dueñas. It has with 300 children ranging from 8 to 14 years old.

“We saw potentials from these children. I can say that basing on their performance on our sessions, some of them can be competitive in the Milo Little Olympics and other local sporting meets,” said Dueñas. “If they will be given a break and continuous trainings, these children can become good runners.”

Fifty of the children under the grassroots program will be put to test on their first 1.5K road race in the Flame IT! run.

“When we got to Barangay Guba and asked the participating children: how many of you are eating once a day with salt as the dish? We were speechless and very emotional when we saw all of them raised their hands,” said Hayco, who added that running can be ticket to acquire athletic scholarship and change the lives of these children.

Aside from the grassroots program, the Department Social Welfare and Services Home for women is also a beneficiary.