An entourage of 63 young runners – ranging in age from six to 16 – along with parent, grandparents, and friends converged on Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows on Friday.
The group, calling themselves Kids Running For Kids, is from the Williams Lake area, and on June 30 they departed from the Cariboo community in convoy of family vehicles bound for Vancouver.
The eight day journey, which included a few stops in this community, is aimed at raising money for BC Children’s Hospital. Friday began with the team gathering at Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge, where they ran a few laps around the park and were greeted by Mayor Ernie Daykin and several kids and staff from the leisure centre.
Originally, the plan was to run about five kilometres an hour along the highways through a few key communities along the way to Vancouver and the children’s hopsital.
But due to safety, the group chose instead to have the children run on tracks – and in the case of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, they ran a six-kilometre section of the dikes between Jerry Sulina Park at 210th Street and and Menzies Park at Harris Road.
“Our parents have taught us not to run away from our problems, so we have decided to run to try to solve them,” their Facebook says. Several of the children participating in the run have actually had to use the services of BC Children’s Hospital.
When the idea began to take root last fall, the intended goal was to raise $25,000 through this fundraiser. Before they left Williams Lake, they’d already topped the $50,000 mark.
By the time they reached the end of their run into Pitt Meadows Friday – and before heading to a barbecue lunch hosted by the Golden Ears Kiwanis at Spirit Square – organizers were boasting that they’d almost surpassed $55,000.
They leave town tomorrow on the last leg of their journey, bound for Vancouver and the ultimate goal of reaching the children’s hospital.
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