With spring weather coming slowly but surely to Vancouver Island, several Royal Roads University students have seized the opportunity and organized a fundraising run in support of Mount St. Mary hospital.
Set for June 20, the Great Island Run will include a 10 km race, a 5 km walk/run, and a 1 km run for anybody under 10 years old, with all options arranged to accommodate and appeal to as many people as possible. And with Chief Harvey Underwood attending as a representative for the Tsawout First Nations, event organizer Karen Velazquez hopes to bring a variety of members of the community together.
Velazquez said a presentation from a Mount St. Mary representative inspired her and her classmates to promote its cause and fundraise for the hospital.
“We were so moved by the presentation and the efforts of Mount St. Mary that the hospital became our charity of choice,” says Valezquez. “Running is the number one [physical activity] in Canada, and it brings people of all backgrounds and ages together in a fun environment. Furthermore, running pushes people out of their comfort zone. Since Mount St. Mary residents require complex care for their physical needs, we want to inspire Victoria locals to run in honour of the residents at the hospital.”
Mount St. Mary’s is a long-term facility designed for seniors requiring complex care services. The first iteration of the hospital was founded in 1858, but Velazquez is quick to mention how easy it can be to take facilities like Mount St. Mary’s for granted.
“It seems easy to think residents at a hospital should be treated with dignity, patience, and respect,” says Velazquez, “but without resources for the hospital — such as staff support — [facilities] such as this one can quickly become a thing of the past. We want to raise funds for the hospital so they can continue to provide exceptional support to members of the Victoria community who require it.”
Runners and volunteers interested in registering can do so at www.greatislandrun.ca.