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Virtual sMiles for Amanda run will aid Building Hope

Anyone, anywhere can participate over a three-week period in May; 'I think it’s a win-win for both the person participating, the charity and also, importantly, to remember Amanda'
4th event
Participants from this year's sMiles for Amanda event will be raising crucial funds for the Building Hope campaign. Contributed photo

The upcoming sMiles for Amanda 2-kilometre run/walk is a crucial fundraising event for the Building Hope campaign.

The annual event, which benefits a different charity every year, was started by We Unite after a young runner and triathlete from Horseshoe Vally, Amanda Kelsall, was tragically killed in a car accident.

In 2014, after spending the holidays with her family, Kelsall was on her way back to the University of Ottawa, where she was a second-year medical student, when the crash occurred.

For the event's first two years, the run was held in Ottawa in Kelsall’s memory. The run made its way to Horseshoe Valley in 2016.

This year’s event in support of The Lighthouse, the Building Hope campaign and Nelson House of Ottawa Carleton was supposed to take place on May 9 at Horseshoe Resort. However, due to the pandemic, the in-person event isn’t possible.

Instead of cancelling the event, organizers have transitioned the event to a virtual platform where runners, cyclists or walkers from anywhere in Canada can sign up and participate from May 9 to May 30.

Participants are asked to download a running app to track distance and then email their results to We Unite who will be accumulating the data.

“Over the three weeks, we are hoping there is lots of interest and registrations and we will actually be able to cross Canada with the number of kilometres that we accumulate together,” said Charlene Taylor, who is the co-chair of the Building Hope campaign.

The timing of the event is crucial for Building Hope as they ponder the fate of their gala scheduled for June. That event was expected to raise $50,000.

While Building Hope and event organizers are unsure exactly how many people would have participated in the originally planned run, they anticipate it would have been around 150-200 participants. They are hoping to exceed that number during the virtual event that is taking place during a time where people are looking for ways to keep active.

“With the coronavirus everyone wants to stay as healthy as they can and by walking or running, even in solitude, is healthy for the mind and the body,” said Taylor.

“I think it’s a win-win for both the person participating, the charity and also, importantly, to remember Amanda.”

Taylor anticipates that the upcoming sMiles for Amanda event will inspire more virtual events to help local charities in need.

“I think we will see more of these types of experiences as we have to think more outside the box to look out for each other,” she said.

Anyone nationwide who would like to participate in sMiles for Amanda can register online at Registration costs $30 with $20 being donated to Building Hope. 


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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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