Good Neighbours: Surfriders clear debris at remote beach

Volunteers of the Vancouver Island chapter of the Surfrider Foundation collected 590 kilograms of marine debris last week as part of their annual remote beach cleanup event, Combing the Coast.

They collected Styrofoam, plastic bottles, hard plastics and other junk from Rugged Point Provincial Park, on the west coast of the north Island. Items found by the group are typically sent to the landfill, but this time around about half was taken to Ellice Recycle.

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“This year we were able to divert a large amount of the debris from the landfill,” said Lucas Harris, chairman of the local chapter. “Our volunteer efforts and partnership with businesses like Ellice show that marine debris can be managed — it can be removed from our beaches and recycled.”

The group, which monitors and removes marine debris from beaches from Port Renfrew to Cadboro Bay, undertakes monthly cleanups and advocacy work, trying to stop these items from ending up in ocean in the first place.

Harris has kept some of the more interesting flotsam and jetsam — foreign plastic bottles, children’s toys, buoys, even house insulation — and makes mobiles from them to illustrate the group’s efforts.

Beach cleanups are held 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month. The next event is July 14 at Cattle Point and Willows Beach in Oak Bay.

For more information, go to vancouverisland.surfrider.org/combing-the-coast.

Charity pledges start for marathon

The sound of footfalls in October’s Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon will be joined by the applause of 19 local charities.

The organization officially kicked off its Charity Pledge Program, which encourages runners to get pledges for non-profit groups, on Thursday. The title sponsor of the program, for the third year, is the Times Colonist.

“The GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon has successfully created a unique and powerful fundraising opportunity for local organizations to not only raise funds, but to also increase awareness,” said Shannon Kowalko, Times Colonist community relations manager. “We are truly excited to be a part of this initiative.”

Pacifica Housing is joining the program for the first time.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be part of the Charity Pledge Program this year,” said Kristy Colpron, Pacifica’s manager of fund development. “It’s a great opportunity for us, as a smaller non-profit, to gain exposure with both the running community and the community at large.”

The marathon, in its 34th year, takes place Oct.13. In addition to the marathon, there is a half-marathon, an eight-kilometre road race and the Thrifty Foods Kids Run.

For more information, go to runvictoriamarathon.com.

Awareness of ALS is golf pros’ goal

During the month of June, golf pros will play from sunrise to sunset to support those living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The 2013 PGA of B.C. Golf-athon will see Jordan Ray, Wayne Trusky, Chris Currie and Jordan Fletcher of the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort tee off Tuesday, while Griffin Gilmore and Hyo Sang will hit the Ardmore golf course on Friday. The pros will golf as many holes as possible to raise awareness and funds for the ALS Society of B.C. Forty golf courses are participating in the fundraiser.

For more information, go to golfathonforals.ca.

Bowlers raise funds for cystic fibrosis

The lawn-bowling greens of the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club will soon be full as Lawn Summer Nights hits the city to raise funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis.

The event started in Vancouver in 2009, and has expanded to Ottawa, Toronto, London, Ont., and Victoria.

In the past three years, more than $250,000 has been raised.

“The need for enhanced cystic fibrosis research and treatment cannot be over-emphasized,” said event lead Graem Millala.

“Here in Victoria, we’re very excited to be able to raise funds for such a meaningful cause, while having fun and encouraging community spirit.”

Registration is $400 per team of four. The event takes place at6 p.m. every Thursday in July at Victoria Lawn Bowling Club, Cook Street at Park Boulevard in Beacon Hill Park. For more information and to register, go to lawnsummernights.com/VIC.

Wanted: Cyclists for mental health ride

There is still time to register for next Sunday’s Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide cycling event.

Proceeds benefit the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Victoria branch to support mental health programs and services for women and their families.

Organizers hope to raise $10,000 and enlist 600 riders for the event, which can accommodate riders of all levels with seven-, 18- and 29-kilometre routes. The event is part of the Victoria International Cycling Festival.

People can contribute by sponsoring an individual, joining a team or making a direct donation. People can even sign up as a virtual rider and fundraise.

The event starts and ends at Ogden Point. Riding jerseys and info can be picked up between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday at Oak Bay Bicycles, 1990 Oak Bay Ave.

For more information, go to ridedonthide.com.

Islands Trust presents awards

The Islands Trust Council recently announced the recipients of its 12th annual Community Stewardship Awards.

“These awards celebrate people and groups who preserve the community, culture or environment of an island,” said Sheila Malcolmson, council chairwoman.

Nominations came from Bowen, Denman, Gabriola, Galiano, Lasqueti, Mayne, North and South Pender, Saltspring and Saturna islands.

A special award went posthumously to Ana Miriam Leigh of Denman Island for her 20 years of support to women facing violence.

Individual awards went to:

• Richard Blagborne, Saturna Island, for his role in saving and restoring the Fog Alarm building at East Point Park.

• Chris and Judith Plant, Gabriola Island, for promoting and demonstrating sustainability through book publishing.

• Jan Slakov, Saltspring Island, for her environmental and social justice leadership.

Group awards went to:

• Saltspring Island Water Council for 10 years of work on water issues on the island.

• Lasqueti Island Forage Fish Team for monitoring beaches for forage fish habitat.

• Mayne Island Conservancy Society for its shoreline care program.

For more information, go to islandstrust.bc.ca.

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