Nanaimo’s 7-10 Club relies heavily on individual donations

NANAIMO – The 7-10 Club's annual Run/Walk Out Hunger takes place on Oct. 9 at Westwood Lake.

Thanksgiving may be about giving thanks and eating delicious food, but it can also be about helping out those who are far less fortunate.

That’s why the Nanaimo 7-10 Club will be hosting the third annual Run/Walk Out Hunger event at Westwood Lake on Oct. 9, during the busy Thanksgiving weekend.

Denis Ostercamp, 7-10 Club treasurer, said the event is an important fundraiser for his organization, which serves free hot breakfast and bagged lunch to more than 200 people each day.

“It helps us so we can continue to provide a free hot breakfast and a bagged lunch to people Monday to Friday,” he said.

Ostercamp said the club decided to select the Thanksgiving weekend for the event as a way to remind people that there are those who cannot always afford to feed themselves.

“We focus it on Thanksgiving weekend because that’s when you think about feasting,” he said. “So we thought that would be a good time to bring awareness to the people who don’t have enough to eat.”

The 7-10 Club only employees three part-time staff members and mainly relies on the efforts of more than 20 volunteers, according to Ostercamp, who said the club’s annual budget is about $125,000, with about one-third of its funding coming from the B.C. Gaming.

“The rest of the money has to come in from donations or fundraisers such as the [Run/Walk Out Hunger] event,” he said. “Our club operates on volunteers. we have a very strong troupe of volunteers who come in every day.”

There is no registration fee for the event. Instead, people can raise money prior to the event by downloading pledge forms from the club’s website.

Ostercamp said that there are always people out there who need the 7-10 Club’s services and that the club relies heavily on corporate and individual donations.

“Between corporate donations and individual donations it would be over half of our budget,” he said. “It’s a tremendous community effort that keeps us going.”

Run/Walk Out Hunger begins at 9 a.m. For more information, please visit www.nanaimo710club.com.