MAYOR'S CHALLENGE ... The Palo Alto Family Y has stepped forward to help organize Mayor Yiaway Yeh's "Mayor's Challenge" — a series of four sporting events sprinkled throughout the year and designed to bring the city's neighborhoods together. The first event, a ping-pong challenge, will be held Sunday, March 25, from 2 to 5 p.m. at various local gyms: the Y, Cubberley Community Center, Jordan Middle School, Terman Middle School and the Campus for Jewish Life. Co-sponsors of the ping-pong event are the Palo Alto Table Tennis Club, Joola (a table tennis company) and the Palo Alto Unified School District. Neighborhoods will earn points according to the number of residents who participate, according to Yeh.
PRESCRIPTION FOR SAVING ... A team of Stanford University students and graduates has created a system to recoup unused prescription drugs and redirect them to uninsured patients. The university-based nonprofit startup, SIRUM (Supporting Initiatives to Redistribute Unused Medications), has developed a Web-based system to aid medical workers charged with disposing of unused prescription products. The workers list the medications for a potential match with recipients in need. When a match is found, the system generates a Fedex label and packing slip, making it easy to document and donate. The system will start to make a dent in the billions of dollars in unused medicine that is wasted annually in the United States, according to State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto. Simitian sponsored legislation to ease regulatory hurdles to the drug transfers after hearing about the medical waste problem in 2005 from a Stanford University medical student. Simitian said he introduced additional legislation last Friday, Feb. 24, to further facilitate SIRUM's system by expanding the donor base and recipient pool and allowing pharmacy-to-pharmacy exchanges.
FACING AIDS ... Gunn High School's FACE AIDS chapter will be hosting a walkathon Saturday, March 31, to raise funds for the nonprofit organization, which provides health care and employment to patients with HIV and AIDS in Rwanda. The 12-mile walk at Palo Alto's Foothills Park will start at noon at the Oak Grove Picnic Area, according to Rachael Acker, co-president of the school's chapter. The length of the walk was chosen because patients in Nyamirama, which is near the capital of Rwanda, currently must walk 12 miles for treatment at the nearest health center. The funds will go to revitalizing the Nyamirama Health Center. More information is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.