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Our Community: Mount St. Mary raising funds; stuffie wash for charity; open cockpit day

Supporters of the hospital hope to raise $20,000 to fix one Trishaw and purchase another
Pilot Glen Paul takes Mount St. Mary Hospital residents Don Little and Judy Roy for a ride on a Trishaw, a three-wheeled bicycle that holds two adults. A group is fundraising to repair the existing bike and purchase another one. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Raising money for tricycle built for two

Mount St. Mary Hospital has started a campaign to raise awareness — and funds — for a program where volunteers take residents of the complex care facility for a leisurely ride on a tricycle built for two passengers.

Unfortunately, the motor on the electric-assisted Trishaw failed last month, and the cost of repair is estimated at $3,500.

While raising money to fix it, supporters of the hospital — home to about 200 people ranging in age from 52 to around 100 — decided to fundraise for an additional $17,000 to purchase another bicycle, for a total goal of $20,000.

Maureen Bennett, whose husband, Bob, is a resident of the facility, said she was “entranced” after her first ride on the tricycle. “I rode along with a song in my heart.”

The program relies on a group of six cyclists who take residents — sometimes accompanied by family members — out for 45-minute rides around James Bay, Beacon Hill Park or along Dallas Road.

Tara Fedosoff, 62, one of the volunteers, said the rides can be quiet or an opportunity to talk. “It is a chance to have a one-on-one, an opportunity to share life memories. For me, it is very meaningful and rewarding.”

Donations are being accepted online and in person at Mount St. Mary Hospital, 861 Fairfield Rd., between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily.

A tax receipt will be issued for all donations of $20 and above. To donate to the fundraiser online, go to

For more information on the hospital, go to

Aviation museum opens cockpits

Get into the pilot’s seat of five vintage and classic aircraft as the B.C. Aviation Museum hosts an Open Cockpit Day on Sunday.

Visitors will be able to sit in the cockpits of some of the most iconic aircraft in Canadian aviation history, including a Lockheed CT-133, Grumman Tracker, Convair 580, Sikorsky S-55 or V.I.H. Kamov.

Admission is by donation. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at 1910 Norseman Rd. in North Saanich.

For more information, go to

Coldest Night of the Year walk to help Our Place

Bundle up to help some of the community’s most vulnerable by taking part in the Our Place Coldest Night of the Year fundraising walk, downtown or the West Shore, on Saturday, Feb. 24.

The annual, family-friendly walk raises much-needed funds for Our Place, while offering an opportunity to briefly experience what the unhoused population endures every night.

“On the coldest nights, we try to get as many people indoors as possible,” said Julian Daly, executive director at Our Place. “But unfortunately there are still people left outside. Sadly, we are continuing to see more people falling through the cracks and spending their nights on cold, damp streets.”

Daly said the walk allows the community to come together to show how much they care about some of the most vulnerable members of society.

Last year, about 800 participants raised more than $175,000 between the two walk locations. People can walk alone or with a team of friends, family, workmates or congregation members.

Registered participants are also invited to the Toque Toss with The Royals at Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., where participants can pick up special Coldest Night toques from members of the Victoria Royals Hockey Club.

There are two routes available for the Coldest Night walk: one in downtown Victoria and one on the West Shore, in partnership with Pacific Centre Family Services Association.

Both events run 4 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 24. In the Victoria event, participants can choose between a two- and a five-kilometre walk, starting from Our Place at 1027 Pandora Ave.

For the West Shore walk, participants can choose between a 2.5-kilometre and a five-kilometre walk, starting from 1089 Langford Pkwy. in Langford.

For more information, or to register for either walk, go to

For more information on Our Place, go to

Stuffie wash for a good cause

A local rug-cleaning business has come up with a novel way to raise money — a Family Day Halo of Hearts: Stuffie Charity Wash from Feb. 19 to Mar. 1.

For the promotion, Luv-A-Rug will give your stuffie its very own spa day — something similar to a steam bath and sauna — for free in exchange for a donation to B.C. Children’s Hospital.

“You’re doing more than giving new life to your childhood stuffie,” said Dusty Roberts, Luv-A-Rug team leader. “You’re sending a message to the kids at B.C. Children’s Hospital that there’s a whole crew of kind-hearted people (like you with your rejuvenated plush pal) rooting for them. It’s a small act with a big heart, showing those little warriors that they’re not alone.”

Along with the spa treatment, the teddy bear doctors at the rug-cleaning business will also carry out repairs for a small fee.

For more information, or to book your Stuffie Charity Wash, go to

Islanders filled shoeboxes with gifts

Vancouver Island residents packed more than 8,700 shoeboxes for children in need in 2023.

Every year, Samaritan’s Purse, an international charity, directs Operation Christmas Child, a program where shoeboxes full of simple gifts, school supplies and hygiene products are delivered to children around the world.

More than 209 million children from more than 130 countries and territories have received one of the shoeboxes since 1993.

Last year, B.C. residents packed 53,945 shoeboxes – a three per cent increase from 2022.

Of those, close to 3,450 were packed in Victoria.

For some of the children, the shoeboxes are the first gift they have ever received.

For more information, go to

Brain Tumour Walk takes place all year

Although June is Brain Tumour Walk Month, you can hold an event to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada any time in 2024.

The Brain Tumour Walk has undergone a transformation from in-person events on a specific day and location to a community-led model, where participants can stage their walk based on their own convenience, schedule and weather conditions.

Funds raised go toward brain tumour research, support services, education and advocacy on behalf of people diagnosed with brain tumours.

Once you register, your location will be added to an interactive map. You can invite family, friends, co-workers and others to join your walk.

There are no registration fees or fundraising requirements.

For more information, or to register, go to