Rotary Huron Shores Virtual Run 2021 a success in support for local health care

This year, 2021, has been a challenge for everyone including the Huron Shore Rotary Run fundraiser held annually in Southampton.

In what would have been the 32nd annual event, COVID turned it upside down and everything went virtual.  That didn’t stop Rotary FUNdraising however as supporters came up with unusual ways to participate and donate in the virtual event.

                                         Rotary presents funds to Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation-                                                                                      (C) Foundation Exec. Dir. Tracy Murray accepts donation

Normally over the years’ Shore run, funds raised were divided among community groups:

Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation – 60%
Saugeen Shores Day Away Program     – 10%
Southampton Rotary                           – 10%
Port Elgin Rotary projects                    – 10%
Saugeen Track & Field Club                 –  10%

This year however, has made people realize that keeping health care close to home is even more important and, therefore, it was decided that all proceeds from the virtual event would be dedicated to the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation.

With 180 participants and supporters, more than $40,000 was raised (final total to be determined) …  participants such as Pat Dobec of Southampton who personally raised $6,000 and Barry’s Construction who donated $15,000.

Then, there is the young indigenous man, Dylan Roote, Saugeen First Nation, has raised over $1700 for Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation and has moved into second place among our fundraisers.  “When I started this challenge I had just picked up a new road bike and planned on cycling most of it. More recently I’ve been inspired by Brock Fraser’s plan to run 215km in honour of the 215 First Nations children, found at a former residential school in Kamloops, BC. I intend to match his efforts. On June 25th, I will have completed the Huron Shore challenge of 325km and will have included 215km of running, in honour of those lost children and their families. Chi Miigwetch”

There are many stories such as Roote’s that are included on the Rotary Huron Shore Run site.

“Keeping our hospital updated with the latest and best equipment is vital for keeping the ”Best Care Close to Home”.  A huge thank you to all our supporters.  Thanks to you, the runners, the donors, the pledges, the volunteers, and our sponsors, the Rotary Huron Shore Run was recognized for our contribution by having a Treatment Room named in our honour,” said organizers John and June Van Bastelaar.

John Van Bastelaar pointed out that perhaps COVID had been a blessing for the event.  “There are many people who cannot participate in the actual physical event but, with a virtual event, they can take part.  So, perhaps, this has taught us a lesson.  We will be continuing with our virtual event in addition to those who want to take part in the physical run … when everything returns to ‘normal’.”