COLD LAKE – Hearts for Healthcare’s third annual mega bounce run is being re-imagined this year as a virtual event.
The virtual H4H Mega Run allows participants to still get out, run, walk, skip, or bike, and raise money for local healthcare initiative. The only difference, aside from the absence of bouncy obstacles, is you get to do it on your own terms.
“We didn’t want to not do something this year,” noted hearts coordinator Kari Leiper. “We’ve all felt the effects of the pandemic and we wanted to try and put something out there that would be fun and yet safe for everybody. Also to get us all together for a good cause.”
After two successful mega bounce runs, not going ahead with an event this year wasn’t an option, Leiper stressed.
“It was really important for us to make sure that we were staying relevant, keep our faces in the community, and just know that we’re still here to support our community,” she detailed. “There’s still a need to focus on initiatives like doctor recruitment and retention, and there’s still some equipment and facility upgrades that are still necessary. Being out there and just being the face of healthcare and letting people know that we’re here for them (is important.)”
By registering online, every participant will receive a medal and rave kit with items from businesses and organizations in Cold Lake. The routes will run in the north and south of the city, and along the Millennium Trail.
“You can sign up and do the routes or you can do your own thing. There’s a lot of freedom with this run,” Leiper explained. “You can run, jump, walk, go for a kayak, walk around your block, you can do whatever you’re comfortable with or you can just click on your computer and donate. It’s pretty easy and it should be awesome.”
Leiper said the hope is to have about 200 people participate in the virtual event, which is on-par with last year’s numbers, and their goal is to raise $5,000.
“It’s a fun, interesting way to come together and participate for a good cause. We’ve all felt the effects of COVID-19 and this way, hopefully, we can all put that aside and do something fun together.”
Registration starts on Aug. 22 and will run until Aug. 31. Rave kits and medals can be picked up outside of the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre on Sept. 7 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
“You can sign up as an individual or as a team and kind of rally your troops and get them to sign up as a team and get donations that way. You can also collect pledges if you’re unable to actually physically attend or if you want to ask people outside the community to pledge,” Leiper noted.
While they've had to revisit their annual fundraising event, the pandemic has highlight just how important healthcare is in a community and the role Hearts for Healthcare plays.
“There’s so much unknowns right now. People are worried and not really sure where to turn for help," said Leiper. "We just want them to know that their healthcare professionals are still out there working for you and just kind of letting them know where, how you can get in touch, and what’s the best and fastest way to do that as well."