You can chalk up this year’s Colours4Kids run as one for the books, the record books.
Final attendance figures for the annual, rainbow fundraiser in support of the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre are expected to top the 700 mark.
Special guest Duncan Keith, an all star defenseman with the National Hockey League’s Chicago Black Hawks, was on hand to help kick off the event.
Growing up in Penticton, and where he now spends his off season, Keith also did a double shift of signing personalized messages on his photos for the long lines of his young and not-so-young fans.
As well, he provided signed Black Hawk jerseys and a few slightly used hockey sticks for a special silent auction and draw.
“First and foremost it’s a great cause, the money going to the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre and to me that was the important thing,” said Keith during a break in the action. “My friend Mark (Melissen of Wildstone Group of Companies) asked me to do it and it’s just something small I can do for a great cause. It’s just a way to give back for sure. I’ve had just a tremendous amount of support from the community during my hockey career.
“It’s a great little town Penticton, and it’s so nice to see the people, some familiar faces from over the years, friends and family.”
(Video: Mark Brett)
Owner Diana Stirling of LocoLanding, where the event took place and who has helped organize the last two runs, was especially pleased with the turnout.
“We have record numbers here already before we even start and I’m just so thankful to Duncan as well for taking the time to be involved in our community and supporting OSNS,” said Stirling.
Executive director of the centre Manisha Willms too was especially pleased with the huge crowd.
“Just seeing so many people here means so much more than people realize and to have Duncan here just puts it over the top,” she said. “We can’t say thank you enough to everyone.”
Julie Read of Wildstone, who did much of the legwork in putting the run together added: “Wildstone was really excited for the opportunity to get involved with the community, to help out. It really means a lot to support our community and give back.”
Sinclaire Lovett first started the run in 2013 in memory of her older sister Bronwyn who died the previous year.
“She (Bronwyn) spent a lot of time at OSNS in Penticton and all of the proceeds today go to help children just like Bronwyn,” said Sinclaire. “So it’s super important to have people come and just pay $20 to have a ton of fun and get colour coded in a rainbow and support a local charity.”
It’s expected the final tally for the amount of money raised, which is still being tabulated, will exceed last year’s figure of$10,500.