Our Community: Run benefits ill and injured veterans

The Wounded Warrior Run B.C. team is gearing up for their relay-style fundraising and awareness run down Vancouver Island, which starts on Feb. 19 in Port Hardy and ends Feb. 25 in Victoria.

Runners will cover almost 600 kilometres in seven days, stopping at Legions and communities to raise awareness of the support needed by Armed Forces personnel and first responders suffering from mental-health issues or recovering from PTSD.

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“The Wounded Warrior Run B.C. team is on a mission to honour Canada’s ill and injured veterans and first responders,” said Jacqueline Zweng, director of the run in B.C. “We provide a source of hope as we reach out and talk about the wounds that are not visible.”

She said wounded soldiers received outstanding physical care, but it quickly became apparent that they would need further assistance in their mental recovery. Wounded Warriors Canada is now the nation’s leading independent charity focusing on the mental health of veterans and first responders.

The local run is in its fifth year and has become the largest fundraiser for the organization on Vancouver Island.

This year’s goal is to raise $100,000 for innovative, life-changing programs.

The team held a kickoff event on Thursday at Jim Pattison Subaru in Victoria.

For more information, go to woundedwarriors.ca/ways-to-give/wounded-warrior-run-bc.

Lunar New Year dinner raises funds

Chinese New Year is just around the corner, so it must be time for the annual Lunar New Year Fundraising Dinner, hosted by the Victoria Chinatown Lioness club, Saturday at the Golden City restaurant.

The club provides service to those in need, with a particular emphasis on local community needs, and women’s and children’s issues.

Over the years, thanks to fundraising efforts, they are able to donate more than $50,000 to international relief, among other causes.

Attendees will enjoy an authentic eight-course meal, Chinese performances, raffles and a live auction.

Tickets are $48 per person, with tables arranged in banquet rounds of 10. The dinner starts at 6 p.m. Saturday at Golden City restaurant, 721 Fisgard St.

For reservations, or more information, call Gala Fabrics 250-389-1312, Pei Mei Chia at 250-514-1928 or email chiapm@shaw.ca.

Support the homeless at fundraising walk

Walk shoulder to shoulder to help the hungry, homeless and hurting at the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser, with the Mustard Seed Church and Our Place as local charity hosts, Feb. 24.

Victorians will walk alongside 120 other communities to raise funds and awareness in support of vulnerable citizens.

There are three ways to get involved — walk, sponsor a walker or volunteer.

People can choose among a two-, five- or 10-kilometre walking route.

Starbucks coffee will be available en route to keep you warm.

The event is $25 for adults (or raise a minimum of $150), $25 for youth ages 11 to 17 (or raise a minimum of $75) and free for children up to 10 years old.

Registration starts at 4 p.m., and opening ceremonies are at 5, with the walk starting at 5:15 p.m., Feb. 24. A warm, light meal service runs 6 to 8 p.m.

The event starts at the same time from Our Place, 919 Pandora Ave. and the Mustard Seed Church, 625 Queens Ave.

To register, go to cnoy.org/ location/victoria.

Casino supports Help Fill A Dream

The Vancouver Island Construction Association’s Under-40 network is hosting Under the Big Top, a charity casino event to raise funds for the Help Fill A Dream Foundation, Feb. 23 at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort.

Now in its fifth year, the network hopes to exceed previous years’ fundraising goals — and surpass the $10,000 raised in 2017.

“Part of the U40 mandate is to participate in community-engagement initiatives,” said Victoria chairman Eric Ulrich. “Events like this have contributed almost $35,000 over the past five years to local charities, while providing an opportunity for networking and relationship-building within the construction community.”

The theme for this year’s event is the circus, with blackjack, roulette, poker tables and wheels of fortune.

Upon entering, each guest will be handed “funny money” to play with — while using their own to bid on the silent-auction prizes and the much-anticipated live auction that caps off the night.

Hot appetizers will be served while guests try their hand at the ring toss and work the room. Proceeds from ticket sales, games and auctions go to support the foundation.

Tickets are $80. The event runs 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 23 at Delta Ocean Pointe Resort, 100 Harbour Rd. For more information, or for tickets, go to vicabc.ca.

Alberni hall upgrades its kitchen 

The Friends of Alberni Athletic Hall are holding a Kitchen Fundraiser to raise $25,000 to purchase equipment and supplies to upgrade the facility.

The upgrade will enhance the experience of the facility for all user groups. The upgrades will lead to increased daily use of the facility, improve the position of the association for major events in the future and create a lasting impact on community.

The original Alberni Athletic Hall, on Beaver Creek Road, opened in 1925. A second hall opened in 1958, adjacent to the original.

As many as 35,000 people attend events at the hall over the year. It is used by community groups including youth and adult badminton and basketball, adult and youth boot camps, youth volleyball, Totem Tourney, First Nations basketball, potlatches, community funerals, highland dances and craft fairs.

For more information, or to make a tax-deductible donation, contact Matilda Atleo, 250-720-6141 or matildaatleo@gmail.com.

Bathing program gets a renovation

Bathing will be a more relaxing, soothing experience, thanks to a renovation to the West Shore Adult Day Program’s community bathing room, which officially reopened on Thursday.

The $45,000 renovation was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Eldercare Foundation and its donors.

The bathing room at the Priory Hospital, 567 Goldstream Ave., was enlarged and reconfigured to make it easier for clients and workers to use the space efficiently and safely.

The upgrade included the addition of new safety flooring, fresh paint, a spa-like wall mural and ambient lighting resulting in a more calming, safe and enjoyable experience.

Specialized bathing equipment and accessories, also provided by the foundation, now contribute to overall functionality and comfort.

Island Health works in partnership with facilities across Vancouver Island to provide adult day services and community- bathing programs.

Adult day services help improve the health and quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities. The services provide clients with socialization, community connection and therapeutic programs, while providing rest and relief for their family caregivers.

Other adult day services include day respite, health monitoring, and therapeutic and recreational activities.

Those living independently who find it hard to bathe safely in their own home, even with support, might benefit from community-bathing programs.

A case manager can refer you to this program and, for a small fee, you can bathe in special bathtubs with help from trained staff.

The Eldercare Foundation is a registered charity that raises and manages funds dedicated to supporting the provision of an enhanced quality of life for elders. For more information, go to gvef.org.

Dancers help kids with cancer

Stages Dance Company, in partnership with Sole Sisters and KidsRun Victoria is hosting Dancers 4 Kids, a fundraiser that takes place Saturday at the Dave Dunnet Theatre.

The event features performances by members of 15 Greater Victoria dance companies to raise funds for families of children suffering from cancer.

Dance workshops will also be held throughout the day by Joanne Baker, a dancer based in Calgary.

The workshops are $20 to attend. The workshop for ages 10 to 12 take place 9:45 to 11 a.m. The workshop for 13 and older children take place 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Stages Performing Arts School, 301-1551 Cedar Hill Cross Rd.

Admission to the showcase and silent auction is $13. The silent auction starts at 6:30 with the main event at 7 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Dave Dunnet Theatre in Oak Bay High School, 2121 Cadboro Bay Rd. Advance tickets are available at participating dance schools or Stages Performing Arts School.

For more information, go to dancers4kids.wixsite.com/ dancers4kids or Facebook.

Nanaimo group donates blood en masse

A hockey mom in Nanaimo is encouraging local residents to join her and more than 60 of her friends and associates to give blood at two clinics next week.

Carmen Falconer has been a music teacher in Nanaimo for more than a decade. Last fall, she discovered a few children among her and her teenage son’s circle of hockey friends had been diagnosed with cancer.

As cancer patients often require blood products as part of their treatment, Falconer was inspired to rally others to give blood in honour of local families struggling to cope with the disease.

She and her community of supporters, many of them first-time donors, hope to set an example to encourage others to help fill dozens of open appointments at blood clinics running in Nanaimo Feb. 6 to 15.

Her group will be donating blood en masse at the Beban Park Social Centre, 2300 Bowen Rd., Nanaimo at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

To book an appointment, locate a clinic, check eligibility and more, download the GiveBlood app, call 1-888-2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or visit blood.ca. 

Masonic Lodge aids service-dog program

After a Robbie Burns supper last week, members of United Peninsula Masonic Lodge No. 24 presented a cheque for $5,000 to support the Citadel Canine Society, which trains service dogs for individuals suffering from PTSD.

In addition to the lodge donation, the Monday morning coffee club raised a further $500 at a recently hosted breakfast.

Every year, the lodge also provides four $1,500 post-secondary scholarships to students attending Stelly’s and Parkland high schools.

United Peninsula Lodge has had a presence in the Saanich Peninsula since 1920, when the Mount Newton Lodge No. 89 was established.

For more information, go to unitedpeninsula.ca or citadelcanine.com.

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