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Community runs, walks for charity

Early in the fall is one of those times of year when community walks or runs for good causes seem to be most popular.

Early in the fall is one of those times of year when community walks or runs for good causes seem to be most popular. That has certainly been the case recently, with several events held during the past two weeks and another on the horizon…

We’ll start with congratulations to Dana Becker and organizers of the Nanaimo AIDS Walk, held two Saturdays ago at St. Andrew’s United Church. The local walk was part of a national event sponsored by ScotiaBank. Aimed at helping people living with Hepatitis C or HIV, the Nanaimo walk has been held for 20 years now and this time around saw more than 100 participants raise $1,500 locally.

The following day, more than 300 people gathered under sunny skies in beautiful Bowen Park for the 36th annual Terry Fox Run to raise money for cancer research. Participants had the choice of a taking a 2km route bordering the park, or a 5km option that included a circuit of Buttertubs Marsh. Frontrunners helped marshal the routes, some 35 volunteers helped out and a number of local businesses provided generous support. The Nanaimo Clippers were also on hand to take part in what was truly a great family event.

The legacy of the Canadian hero’s Marathon of Hope certainly lives on and local Terry Fox Run coordinator Kathleen Van Doorn reports that Nanaimo’s total raised was an impressive $27,600. Special mention is due to young Victoria McCue for her fundraising efforts and to Jessie Mazzelli who has participated for the past 34 years and has raised an amazing total of $36,000 to date.

Another pair of walk/run fundraisers were held this past weekend. On Sunday morning, participants gathered at Maffeo Sutton Park for the annual Kidney Walk in support of kidney transplantation and organ donation. Participants walked a 2.5km route along our scenic waterfront to raise funds and also raise awareness of the importance of kidney health and organ donation.

Later that same morning, the action shifted to Rotary Bowl stadium. Walkers took to the track in the 3km Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes. The Nanaimo event was one of 70 such walks held across Canada designed to raise critical funds for research and to demonstrate a desire to cure, better treat and prevent Type 1 diabetes.

Another very worthwhile annual fundraiser is set for this coming Sunday (Oct. 2), when the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation presents the CIBC Run for the Cure. Beban Park will be the location for the Nanaimo component of the nationwide event, which is billed as Canada’s largest single-day, volunteer-led fundraising event. The Run for the Cure is dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer research, education and awareness programs.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. on the soccer fields at Beban, with opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and a survivor parade at 9:45 a.m. The start time for the walk/run is 10 a.m. and participants will have the option of completing a 1km or 5km route. More information is available at

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.