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Our Community: Ladysmith Days, 500th little free library, Mt. Work run for Help Fill a Dream

Ladysmith to honour health-care workers just before parade The Town of Ladysmith’s Citizen of the Year award isn’t going to an individual this year, but to all health-care workers in recognition of their contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Christine Knox and Teale Phelps-Bondaroff at The Dragon’s Lair Neighbourhood Free Library, the 500th little free library in the ­capital region, at 3114 Harriet Rd. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

Ladysmith to honour health-care workers just before parade

The Town of Ladysmith’s Citizen of the Year award isn’t going to an individual this year, but to all health-care workers in recognition of their contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The award will be made Sunday, just before the Ladysmith Days parade, which starts at 10 a.m.

Representatives of Island Health have been given a place of honour in the parade, and its mobile vaccination van will also take part in the festivities.

Admission is free. Ladysmith Days events start with the Bullhead Derby at Ladysmith Marina at 7 a.m., followed by a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. at the Ladysmith Legion, the Citizen of the Year award at 9:30 and the start of the parade at 10 a.m.

Afternoon events including zucchini races, chainsaw carving, a nail-driving contest and a kids’ entertainer are planned for Transfer Beach, along with two bands: Doctors of Rock N Roll at 6 p.m. and Switch at 8 p.m.

• For more information, go to ­ladysmithdays.com.

Dragon’s Lair is region's 500th little free library

The Dragon’s Lair Neighbourhood Free Library officially became the 500th little free library in the capital region last Sunday, with Laurel Collins, MP for Victoria, cutting a ceremonial ribbon.

The little library, located at 3114 Harriet Rd. (at the corner of Maddock Avenue West), was installed by Christine Knox, an artist whose family has lived at the address for 85 years.

“I have always wanted to set up a little free library, as I believe that reading is a gift that can take you anywhere — to far off or created places — let you meet real or imaginary people and characters, learn about things that you didn’t know,” said Knox.

The library features a fantasy theme, with a tower, a dragon’s eye on the front, and little dragons around the base.

Knox said the design was inspired by her love for J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. “I’m also a lover of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon series, so a dragon little free library seemed only natural,” said Knox, adding there will be surprises around the library in coming months.

The library started life as newspaper box, donated by Island Tides and the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network.

• For more information, go to victoriaplacemaking.ca.

Firefighters donate to hospitals foundation

The Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria Community Foundation presented the Victoria Hospitals Foundation with a $25,000 cheque on Thursday — the final payment toward a 10-year $250,000 pledge.

Donations by the firefighters over the years have funded an array of priority equipment for pediatric and neonatal care at Victoria General Hospital.

Representatives from the four core fire departments — Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt and Oak Bay — that make up the Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria Community Foundation, were in attendance for the event, with fire trucks on display.

Ultra-marathoner sets sights on Help Fill a Dream

Ultra-marathon runner Jerry Hughes plans to run up Mount Work repeatedly over 35 hours starting Aug. 9 to honour Help Fill A Dream’s 35th anniversary.

Hughes hopes to raise $35,000 — $1,000 for each hour he runs. Mount Work, the highest point of Mount Work Regional Park, is 449 metres high. If he does the route 19 times, he will have climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest.

Hughes and his siblings were born with Gardner’s Disease, a life-threatening condition that can lead to colon cancer and other serious complications. His father succumbed to the same disease.

When he was 15, he and his siblings received a trip to Disneyland from Help Fill A Dream.

In gratitude, Hughes has raised nearly $50,000 for Help Fill A Dream through a variety of running events.

Burpee challenge aims to raise $100,000 for KidSport

Fifty people have signed on to complete either 500 or 1,000 burpees — a two-part exercise composed of a pushup followed by a jump with hands above the head — in a single afternoon, with the goal of raising $100,000 for KidSport Greater Victoria.

Participants will be at Glenlyon Norfolk Junior School, 1701 Beach Dr., today to make good on their pledge.

The $100,000 would help improve access to organized sports for 345 children, through KidSport Greater Victoria’s sports registration grants for local children and youth in financial need.

• For more information, go to kidsportcanada.ca/british-columbia/greater-victoria/events.

Cyclists pedal to metal for Multiple Sclerosis Society

Cycle any day this summer to help fundraise for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. Although the society is not hosting in-person MS Bike events due to COVID-19, people are invited to join a virtual Canada-wide event on Sept. 18.

On Vancouver Island, the MS Bike-Cowichan Valley event will include a series of weekend activities, with a community event taking place on Aug. 7.

“As an avid cyclist and long-time participant of MS Bike, I’m delighted to be able to participate in such a fun, welcoming, and impactful event which continues to bring the MS community together,” said Katherine Louman-Gardiner, who was diagnosed with MS in 2007.

• For more information, go to mssoc.convio.net.

Growing Together seeks mentors, novice gardeners

Growing Together, a program that aims to help first-time urban growers to successfully grow their own food, is looking for mentors and first-time gardeners.

Offered by the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable, the program provides resources, opportunities, educational materials and a help hotline for participants. It is also a mentorship program, with one-on-one mentorship support around growing food. It says it matched more than 120 new gardeners with mentors last year.

Growing Together has also supported Get Growing, Victoria!, a City of Victoria initiative that grew and distributed more than 81,500 free seedlings to community members last year, especially those facing barriers to food access.

The Growing Together program is funded by the City of Victoria, the Government of Canada’s New Horizon Program and the Victoria Foundation.

• For more information, go to growingfood-together.com.

parrais@timescolonist.com