by Stuart Fullarton
The tally is in from this summer’s second annual Run Around the Zone, which took place at Pas-Ka-Poo Park June 15. Through the event, more than $8,500 was raised by 100 participants who ran, walked or volunteered in support of local healthcare fundraising initiatives.
That money will help fund a new therapy pool at the Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre, with the current one marred by damages so severe that it now falls short of required safety standards.
Also slated for purchase are additional overhead patient lifts to benefit continuing care residents. One lift currently serves about 15 residents, often creating wait times for those who require its use.
Upgrades in both areas will cost just over $600,000.
David Thompson Health Trust development officer Ashlee Hamblin was glad to see strong support shown for such an important cause through the June event, which attracted community members from all walks of life.
“Some of them were there just to support health care, some were just avid runners looking for an event to do,” she said. “A lot of the people that ran and walked collected pledges and donations from their friends and family, and dropped them off at the run, so that was a big revenue source for the event.”
Further proceeds came from event registration fees, cash donations and sponsor contributions, she added.
To support the upgrades, the run and other events like it will continue to take place over the next couple of years, said Hamblin. Next year’s is already being planned for May, and she’s hoping to see an even larger turnout for that one.
The first one last year raised the same amount of money as this year, although with nearly twice as many participants.
“I think the biggest difference this year was it wasn’t a very nice weather day, and we did it in June when people were already camping,” said Hamblin. “Next year, we’re planning on doing it in May to see if that helps us to keep those numbers up.”
Donations will continue to be accepted until then, and may be made online at www.rimbeyhealthdonations.com.