Rodney girl continues racing to raise money for charity

Bailey Natale, of Rodney, is running the Michigan Titanium Kids Triathlon on Aug. 19, the T-Rex youth Triathlon race on Aug. 23, and the Grand Rapids Half Marathon with her mom, Jennifer, on Oct.15. Natale is raising money for Team World Vision in order to provide clean water to children in Africa. (Pioneer photo/Emily Grove)

RODNEY — Last year, Bailey Natale ran to raise money for children in Africa and she hasn’t slowed down yet.

The eight-year-old from Rodney is a passionate member and advocate of Team World Vision, a national running group, with participants competing in races across the country to raise money so children in Africa can have clean water.

Team World Vision is part of World Vision, a nonprofit Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

Last September, Natale participated in the UnitedHealthcare IRONKIDS Wisconsin Fun Run in Madison, Wis. After being inspired by family friends who requested donations for the charity instead of wedding gifts, Natale decided to join the team and began fundraising, deciding to pass on birthday presents. She ultimately raised $1,48o.

Now, Natale’s back at it, raising money once again and dedicating herself to new challenges.

“This year I’m running two triathlons and a half marathon,” Natale said. “We live on a lake so I practice here, plus we work on biking here and more running.”

Natale, who will going into fourth grade at Evart Elementary School, is running the Michigan Titanium Kids Triathlon on Aug. 19, the T-Rex youth Triathlon race on Aug. 23, and the Grand Rapids Half Marathon with her mom, Jennifer, on Oct.15.

Ever since running in Madison last year, Natale has been committed to the activity, taking part in various races and signing up for Girls on the Run.

She doesn’t have a monetary goal, but would love to beat her previous fundraising amount.

“I was excited to raise all that money,” Natale said. “I’d definitely like to get higher than last year if I can.”

According to Team World Vision, more than 700 million people in the world lack access to safe drinking water, and it is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the world. Three times a day, women and children walk on average six kilometers to gather unsafe drinking water. Through Team World Vision, $50 will provide lasting clean water to one person in Africa.

“The money I raise helps kids in Africa get clean water,” she said. “They will get sick and sometimes not even make it to their fifth birthday because they have to drink nasty water and it’s not good for them.”

Bailey Natale runs in the UnitedHealthcare IRONKIDS Wisconsin Fun Run last year in Madison, Wis. This year, Natale is participating in two triathlons and a half marathon. (Courtesy photo)

Similarly to her last birthday, Natale is once again asking for no gifts and instead hopes for donations to her cause. She also is collecting pop cans and will be bringing pulled pork lunches to her father, Mark’s, work as a fundraiser.

Natale is committed to Team World Vision and sees herself participating in many future races. In fact, her ultimate goal is to run the Ironman Triathlon in Madison, Wis., when she turns 18.

“After cheering my team on last year, I knew that’s what I want to do when I get older,” she said.

With all Bailey’s accomplished so far, Jennifer is confident her daughter can one day compete in an Ironman race.

“I’d love to see her meet that goal if she still wants that down the road,” she said. “I foresee her racing for many more years and I believe one day I will be in Madison to cheer her on during an Ironman.”

Anyone interested in donating to Team World Vision through Bailey can visit Along with a donation, visitors can leave a special birthday note or message of encouragement. All donations made by U.S. residents are tax deductible in full or in part.


Posted by Emily Grove

Emily is the Pioneer and Herald Review crime and court reporter, covering crime in both Mecosta and Osceola counties. She can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at (231) 592-8362.

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