Now that the (chalk) dust has cleared the final total raised from the recent Wildstone Colours4Kids Run has been pegged at $17,115.
That figure along with the number of people who participated is up substantially from the year before when 710 registered and the amount raised was $15,000, which was $4,500 more than the previous year and which will now go to the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre.
“This year we bought 800 registration packages which have T-shirts, sunglasses and chalk and that was our goal and we sold out,” said OSNS executive director Manisha Willms. “It’s really great and don’t actually know in the end how many people over 800 we had because we had some extra but it was such a heart warming turnout.”
The true impact of the turnout didn’t register with Willms until she got on the back of the truck to talk to the crowd.
“I almost couldn’t start,” she recalled. “I wasn’t prepared for looking out over 800 people who all looked like a giant rainbow it really was so moving I think I said something like; ‘I just wish could all see what I see right now.’”
And about the increasing popularity and success of the event Willms said: “I think it’s a cause (OSNS) that resonates with people but the event itself is so well aligned with family and good will.
“It was such a feel-good vibe and I think people are coming back year after year because they love that vibe and they love the message and it’s a lot of fun.”
She also visited some local elementary schools to promote the event.
“We asked them (students) if they ever needed help about something and what that feels like and it was a really nice way raise awareness about ways kids can help kids. I love that,” said Willms
Joining the crowds of people doing the colourful run was Cody Kearsley who plays Moose Mason on the Netflix series Riverdale who hung around for some photos and autographs afterwards.
Having grown up in Oliver, Kearsley at one time attended OSNS, saying prior to the event he was happy to be able to give back.
“I talked to him afterwards and he said he had a good time,” said Julie Read, of Wildstone. “We’re thrilled with the results of the run and we’re continually getting more each year and that money is going to help a lot of kids, we’re couldn’t be happier.
“Everyone sees that it’s just such a great community event and it’s fun for all ages.”
Willms also expressed her appreciation to Wildstone for the kind of support it provides.
“It is particularly inspiring when a company decides not only to support but to support through involvement and engagement,” she said. “You see a company like Wildstone Construction not just saying ‘here we’ll cut you a cheque but lets really get involved in the mission and the vision and let’s create an event for the famiies,’ it lifts our community overall and provides us with a way to understand each other better.”