Athlete runs across country for a good cause - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Athlete runs across country for a good cause

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By: Lauren Fabrizi

A Nike-sponsored athlete has made his way to Lincoln. Jason Lester is going on a 3,100-mile run from San Francisco to New York City all in support of a Hurricane Sandy relief initiative.

The project is called "Operation: Rebuild and Restore," and was started by Waves for Water. Lester's goal is to raise $20,000 for one family to rebuild their home. But ultimately, Lester wants to raise as much money as he can for families who are suffering from post-storm damages.

Tuesday marked day 43 of the trip, and Lester said it has been a rewarding experience so far.

"You'll pull into gas stations and restaurants where we eat at night," Lester said. "Just being able to share with people why this big RV is coming through their town."

One of the stops on Lester's path was on the skirts of Lincoln. Lester said of the five states he and his team have been through so far, Nebraska may be his favorite.

"Nebraska's been one of the most kindest and friendliest states we've been in," Lester said. "We've had so many people pull over off the side of the road and literally ask us, 'You guys okay? Is there anything we can do for you?'"

But no matter the state, Hurricane Sandy is not the only "Sandy" on Lester's mind. He is also running in memory of Chase Kowalski, one of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims.

"He's flapping his wings up there guiding this whole thing, you know, getting us over to his mom," Lester said.

Iowa is the next stop for Lester.

If you would like to donate to "Operation: Rebuild and Restore," click here.

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