Walk for Awareness

22nd Annual BCAK “Walk for Awareness” May 9th

A cloudy start to the day on Saturday May 9th did not deter the first group of volunteers who headed down to Confederation Park to unload the pink trailer and set up all the tents for the “Village” for our 22nd Annual BCAK “Walk for Awareness”. Thanks once again to Empire Life for the use of their parking lot for our volunteers. By the time 9:00 am rolled around, the remaining volunteers had also arrived and set up their areas, the sun was out, the park was decorated with pink balloons and signs and it was quite busy as the Town Crier gave his opening proclamation and the activities were opened. Fiddle Earth, a local band who graciously donated their time for the event, entertained us while registration took place and then on and off with songs or background music during the morning.

Under the direction of Bea Faraklas from All Hair Alternatives, several people had their heads shaved including Julie whose daughter Anick just wanted to have enough of her long hair cut to donate it to Angel Hair for Kids. Pink hair extensions were also available for a donation.

Once registered, participants were able to check out all the various activities. The Kids Zone had plenty of activities children could take part in – face painting, the bouncy castle, cookie decorating, the fish pond where if you fished out a lucky pink duck you won a small prize, the bean bag toss and a colouring contest with prizes for two different age groups. Adults could enjoy a coffee courtesy of McDonalds, find a baked goodie at the bake table, get a body massage from one of the Trillium College students or a hand massage courtesy of Annette Gencarelli of Alouette Spa. There was also the music to listen to. A wonderful variety of ticket box items which were again donated by local merchants were available to purchase tickets on.

Our MC’s for the event were Lisa Ray and Rebecca Fryer from 98.3 FLY FM and 98.9 THE DRIVE who did a great job informing everyone of what was going on and keeping things on track. We would like to thank the St. John Ambulance volunteers who were in attendance and had a first aid station set up in case of need and two of them accompanied the walkers on the parade route.

The Walk this year was dedicated to Lynn Schidowka and Elsie Higham, both very special BCAK members who had passed away since the last Walk. Members of both families helped to carry the banner near the front of the parade.

Guest speakers were Mayor Bryan Paterson and Sophie Kiwala, MPP for Kingston & the Islands. Ted Hsu, MP for Kingston & the Islands was unable to attend and his message was read by Dianne Johnston. Lori Faggiani representing University Hospitals Kingston Foundation spoke about the contribution BCAK has made to local research over the many years of the Walk and the important role we play in the community.

Blair Hutchings, BCAK Fitness Instructor, got everyone warmed up for the Run or Walk and at 11 am sharp the 11 runners started off, followed very closely by 39 people who chose to walk the 5 K route. These participants were followed by one of the Kingston Tour Trolleys driven by David Fisher who brought up the rear for safety and to pick up anyone who could not complete the distance. Meanwhile the remaining walkers assembled for the Parade and were led off by a police cruiser, followed by Team Elsie (members of Elsie Higham’s family), Jay Schidowka and representatives from Curves who all carried the banner. Jade Lake with her pink car and three BCAK members as passengers was next, followed by the rest of the participants. New this year was a short walk around Market Square for the younger children who carried balloons and gave out t-shirts. Snacks were available when the runners and walkers returned to the park. Our numbers were down this year but we very much appreciate the support of those who did come and join us and also those who pledged someone. We have raised approximately $26,000 so far as not all pledges are in.

Prizes this year were given for the top 5 pledge collectors: top individual – Doreen McDonald $1000 – $100 gift certificate for a choice of 4 restaurants donated by Black Dog Hospitality and who donated her prize back to BCAK to be used at the Golf tournament, we thank you Doreen; top overall – Pauline Ryan $2929.60 part of which was a contribution from Scotiabank -$100 gift certificate for Chic Hair & Esthetics Centre; other top individuals – Betty Rushton $741 – $50:00 gift certificate for 5 different restaurants; Lori Burns $665 – Dinner for two donated by the Brew Pub and Eileen van der Zwan $615 – Tickets for a family night out at the cinema. Winners of the kids colouring contest: under 7 – Adelyn King and Abigail Clarke; 7 and up Matthew North and Sarah North: all received gift certificates for Dollarama. The lucky winners of the ticket box items were also announced at the prize giving. The flower arrangement donated by L.S.P. Flowers which the Committee decided should go to a volunteer was won by Bob and Willi Clark. Once again there were no prizes for top finishers for the 5K Run or Walk but we would like to acknowledge the top placers. Congratulations to runners Rogerio Cabral 22 mins 57 secs, Melodie Knott 23 mins 44 secs and Trentyn Rozendal 29 mins 3 secs and to walkers Tristan Davies 43 mins 49 secs, Michael Davies 43 mins 50 secs and Sylvain Ouellet and Lori Burns both with 45min.

We extend our thanks and appreciation to our media sponsors: 98.3 FLY FM and 98.9 THE DRIVE and to the Kingston Whig-Standard. To all other sponsors or donors, we are very grateful for your contributions and value your support and commitment. The list of these businesses and individuals appears separately.

Many, many, thanks go to the other Walk committee members: Lynne Funnell, Bill Funnell, Shelly McLean, Jennifer King, Barb O’Neill, Barb Raudnask and Willie Kyer, with help from Bev Martin and Sylvia Porter who made my job a lot easier. A big kudos to the large number of volunteers under the direction of my Co-Chair Lynne Funnell (unfortunately there were too many to list you all by name) who worked tirelessly loading, setting up, manning stations and packing everything away as the event could not have taken place without you all. We also very much appreciated all the high school students who came out to help us as part of their community service hours.

Sue Davies, Walk Co-Chair 2015

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