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Qualicum school board trustee making big strides to raise funds for track project

Young’s goal is walk 2,000 kilometres by September
School District 69 (Qualicum) board trustee Elaine Young shows her Team Red vest that she wears when she goes for her walk to raise funds for the Oceanside Community Track project. (Submitted photo)

School District 69 Qualicum board trustee Elaine Young is literally going the distance to help raise funds for the Oceanside Community Track upgrade at Ballenas Secondary.

Young is aiming to walk a distance of 2,000 kilometres. She started her fundraising walk on March 20, logging in an average of 115 kilometres each week. She is seeking donations to support a six-lane, all-season community track initiative that would cost $1.5 million to build.

“This is my commitment to walk a minimum of three hours each day to Sept. 20,” said Young, who is also a member of the Oceanside Community Track Committee. “And I am asking for the people of our community to donate if you can or to spread the word.”

Young indicated each day at 6 p.m., she logs the distance, the number of steps, time, and the total number of kilometres she has covered.

As a former member of the now disbanded District 69 Recreation Commission of the Regional District of Nanaimo, Young said multiple studies recommended a new track is needed and the RDN Master Plan considered it a priority. She’s been advocating to get the old cinder track upgraded. 

Young said she also drew inspiration while on a holiday on the Lower Mainland a few years ago.

RELATED: City of Parksville moves to allocate $250K to Ballenas track upgrade project

“We came upon a six-lane track and it was full of people,” said Young. “But they weren’t kids. They were all active seniors. There were people with wheelchairs, there were people with walkers. The track was full. And I thought, this is what I want to see. So that’s my primary reason why I do this everyday.”

Young has not set a target on the amount of money she wants to raise. Whatever amount she achieves at the end of her fundraising campaign, she will feel good.

So if anyone wants to donate can go to Oceanside Community Track gofundme or Currently the project has already raised 33.8 per cent of its $1.5 million target, more than $500,000.

“This is a community track that we’re raising money for,” said Young. “It is for all of us.”

You can easily spot Young walking in the community as she is sporting the Team Red vest provided by Riptide Graphics that has a message “Support Our Track.”

“I encourage you to say hi,” said Young.”

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Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
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