Run about fun while raising money

Judy Sentes is finding that fundraising dollars are getting tougher to get.

Judy Sentes is finding that fundraising dollars are getting tougher to get.

Even though residents have a strong philanthropic attitude, executive director of the Okanagan Similkameen Neurological Society (OSNS) said there is more and more pressure on that dollar.  Sentes cites there are many good causes and money is more of a challenge to everyone including the province.

“There are more requests for you to donate to,” she said. “The pie keeps getting cut smaller and smaller.”

Sentes hopes tomorrow people can find an extra $5 for the Subaru Ironman Canada Fun Run, which hits the ground running on Lakeshore Drive. Sentes isn’t concerned about the support the event will get, since most have shown admiration towards it.

“Everybody has spoken to it most positively, they have enjoyed it,” she said. “It builds to the event (Ironman Canada) itself.”

Brendan Morgan, whose son Liam participated, said it was great for the kids because it led the week off with a lot of excitement.

“It felt like they were participating in something important,” said Morgan. “Lots of people all the way down the side. It’s very well organized. He (Liam) was ecstatic. He felt like he was one of the professional triathletes.”

Liam was nine while participating said he enjoyed the finish line because of all the people there.

“It felt really good,” he said of finishing. “Everybody was cheering.”

Jocelyn Sombrowski’s four kids have done it and loved it.

“Makes them feel like they are Ironman too,” she said, as her family comes in from Fernie. “The kids like hearing the announcer calling.”

Sentes describes the Fun Run as a wonderful event that has attracted 600 people, raising $3,000 in a day.

“What fundraiser will lend you that kind of opportunity,” she said. “It has definitely grown.”

The run is based on fitness and fun and is effective for the festival concept. Graham Fraser, owner of the Subaru Ironman Canada event, came up with the idea as he felt it would be a great event to do and felt it should support Sentes’ charity, the OSNS.

The Fun Run has grown to 600 because of the design of the race, which stays along Lakeshore Drive with no maximum on the number of participants.

“There are those doing this who are watching their time. They want to win or have a good personal time,” she said. “There are others who just want to do it for fun. The whole family can do it together. We have had people in wheelchairs. Stockwell Day came down when he was MP one year with his rollerblades.”

Sentes said she must raise $361,000 this year for the OSNS, which  is under contract to provide $1.4 million in services. The organization, however, only receives $1.1 million in funding. Coming up with that $300,000 with their various fundraising initiatives has been challenging the last few years.

Pre-registration is recommended either by calling 250-492-0295 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or going to the registration table outside the triathletes tent in Okanagan Lake Park. Registration will also be done on race day at Rotary Park on Lakeshore Drive at 5 p.m. The run begins at 6 p.m. for the Timex Ironkids one-kilometre created particularly for children under 12 years of age. The five-km run will start immediately after. Children completing the Fun Run also receive a medal of recognition.



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