The third annual Charlee’s Run, a family fun run/walk raising awareness for pregnancy and infant loss, will be held Saturday.
Over the past two years, Charlee’s Run has been able to raise almost $100,000 for pediatric and neo-natal needs at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.
The event is a passion project for Dave and Mallory Holmes and is held in memory of their daughter, Charlee Clare Holmes, who died in 2011, just hours after her birth.
“This day isn’t just about Charlee,” said Mallory. “It’s named in memory of her, but it’s in honour of all those lives lost too soon and who should have been here with us today.”
The young couple have poured their heart and soul into organizing the annual fund-raiser. At the inaugural event, they were overwhelmed when 372 runners raised about $40,000 to support the cause.
Last year, more than 550 runners and walkers raised almost $60,000.
Funds raised from Charlee’s Run 2019 will be focused on three areas of need in the pediatric and neonatal units at OSMH.
Money will be used:
For the purchase of a Bereavement Cart, modeled after Sick Kids. It will be in lavender, which is the international colour of pregnancy and infant loss, and will include materials to make hand and foot moulds, digital memory cards so families can take pictures of their little ones home, and a variety of resources to help families through the grieving process;
To support bereavement education which will be provided for staff members who work in high-risk areas of the women and children’s program at OSMH; and
To bridge the funding gap in purchasing a Central Monitoring System to improve care of the tiniest of patients staying at OSMH.
“Our hearts are full knowing that this year’s funds will directly improve the quality of bereavement care that families receive at OSMH as well as support the much needed equipment that will help OSMH continue to do the amazing and lifesaving work that they do,” said Mallory Holmes.
This year’s event will be held Saturday at Couchiching Beach Park. All are welcome to come and support the cause and raise awareness about pregnancy and infant loss while raising much-needed funds.
Registration opens at 8:30 a.m., followed by opening ceremonies and bubble release.
Registration fee is $30 per person. Kids 12 and under are free.
The 5-kilometre walk/run starts at 10 a.m.
The 1-kilometre walk/run starts at 10:15 a.m.