The Winner of the 2016 "In Their Shoes" 5K: The Children of Iraq


June 11, 2016

Early on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning in May, an estimated 280 people gathered in the Washington, DC area, for the “IN THEIR SHOES” 5K to benefit Iraq’s most vulnerable children.The fourth annual 5K, held this year in Alexandria, VA, is sponsored by the Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF) to raise awareness and financial support for Iraqi orphans, street children, and kids displaced by violence.  This year’s event raised more than $32,000 to help rescue and love these kids.

While there were some impressive runners and 5K teams, the real winners were the children of Iraq.  ICF salutes all those who decided to be heroes to these children, including, the parents and children who came and ran the race together, the veterans who have served our nation, the Gold Star Mothers of the fallen, distinguished members of the local Iraqi-American community, the biggest 5K team from the State Department, ICF’s Soccer Salam partners at EPIC, and so many others like Casa Rosada which donated and served gelato for everyone after the race.  

The team that made this event possible includes:

• Ambassador of Iraq Lukman Faily (right) who participated for the third year and ran with his family


• Mayor Allison Silberberg of Alexandria

• Medal of Honor Recipient Florent Groberg

• Ambassadors (ret.) Richard Schmierer and William Taylor, Shameem Rassam of Alhurra TV, and others members of the 5K Honorary Committee including some who were unable to attend but lent their prestige to the children of Iraq, such as Ambassador Ryan Crocker (ret.), General David Petraeus (ret.), and Major General Jeffrey Buchanan.  .

• The 5K sponsors: Khudairi Group, BH Defense, The Children’s Village, Sallyport, and Magnolia’s On King.

• The team of Strategic Partners for the 5K: Team Red, White and Blue, EPIC, Karadah Project, and Goals and Dreams.

Medal of Honor Recipient Groberg (4th from left), Mayor Silberg (5th from left), join ICF and Team Red, White, and Blue as Alhurra television covers the event

Funds raised by the event are reserved – 100 percent – for efforts by Iraqi lawyers and social workers to protect some of Iraq’s most vulnerable kids from dangers on the streets, to get them back into school, to provide loving care for trauma, medical needs, and so much more.  

More pictures are available at ICF’s Facebook page.  

This is what love for the least of these looks like.  This is the message that all of you – from far across the sea – sent to the children of Iraq: “You are not forgotten.  We will come to your rescue.”

(Left: Medal of Honor Recipient Groberg and Kelly Swanson whose son Chris served and died in Ramadi.)

For more information about the Iraqi Children Foundation, email

Cindy Fogleman