The Oceanside Mother’s Day Race will again be cancelled this year but Oceanside Running Club Association members like Jill Davies (239) aim to stage individual solo runs to raise money for charitable groups. (PQB News file photo)

The Oceanside Mother’s Day Race will again be cancelled this year but Oceanside Running Club Association members like Jill Davies (239) aim to stage individual solo runs to raise money for charitable groups. (PQB News file photo)

COVID-19: Runners still raising funds for charity in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Despite cancellation of events, ORCA members raise $10,500

The COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed members of the Oceanside Running Club Association.

Whatever the weather, they continue to run or walk regularly each week. For them, every day is a good day for a run, as an important exercise to keep fit and healthy.

However, there’s also another objective ORCA accomplishes every year, helping charities and other groups in Parksville Qualicum Beach.

Money generated from the popular Oceanside Mother’s Day race is traditionally donated by ORCA to Haven House, Forward House and the Mid-Island Distance Runners. But due to COVID-19, the event was cancelled last year and will not be staged again this May.

To meet ORCA’s commitments to their selected charities and group, five members took it upon themselves to find ways to raise funds on their own. Their dedication resulted in raising a total of close to $10,500 through sponsored solo runs.

“We kind of shifted gears, that’s the only way to put it,” said Paul Watson, ORCA president. “We relied on our members instead of the public at large to organize themselves to raise money for the specific charities, number one that the club has supported and number two, charities of their own choosing.”

READ MORE: Vancouver Island long-distance runner looks to regain his stride after losing leg

Aside from Haven House, Forward House and Mid-Island Distance Runners, ORCA members also donated to the School District 69 Backpack Program, the Salvation Army Food Bank, the Society of Organized Services, and Philanthropic Educational Organization.

The club also allocated $1,600 to charities designated from the cancelled Mother’s Day Race and Learn to Run program last year.

“Because they were cancelled, participants who paid for their membership and race entries opted to make a donation instead,” said Watson. “That was really important particularly from the Learn to Run because almost all of them donated the race portion which was a little over $1,300 of the $1,600 to that particular cause.”

Individual runners who engaged in solo runs to raise fund included Mary Beil, Jill Davies, Barry Carr, Watson and his daughter Lauren. Watson said their efforts are commendable.

Davies, who is one of the club’s avid members, raised the most money individually, just over $5,000. She embarked on a 10k run after recovering from a running accident. She received major support from local businesses Mt. Arrowsmith Brewing Company, Quality Foods, and Cascadia Liquor Parksville.

Watson said they plan to continue doing it again this year. Beil, who kicked off the individual efforts last year, raising $1,300, already got the ball rolling. Despite having just recovered from surgery last October, she and Kate Flint completed a 10-kilometre run in February, raising $1,700 for the Coldest Night of the Year.

“We are looking to our membership again to do much the same as we did last year,” said Watson. “I know I will be involved in it. It continues our mission is the biggest statement that we make of giving back to the community of helping further the sport in terms of awareness and of course encouraging people to get out and be physically active. It’s something they can do regardless of the pandemic.

For more information about the club and membership, visit http://orcarunning.ca.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CoronavirusParksvillequalicum beachrunning

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Town of Qualicum Beach plans to establish temporary shelters. (Town of Qualicum Beach illustration)
Town of Qualicum Beach seeks $1.25M grant to build temporary housing units

Aim is to move tenants in prior to the end of 2021

Mount Arrowsmith Teachers’ Association and its Nanaimo-Ladysmith counterpart seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (PQB News file photo)
Mount Arrowsmith teachers’ union asks health authority for stricter COVID-19 measures

Teachers ask for vaccine, more online learning, mask mandate for primary students

Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department emergency response vehicle. (PQB News file photo)
Dashwood fire department issues warning to residents to hold off on yard debris burning

Fire chief: ‘Hold off on burning until we get some rain’

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

(File photo)
PQB crime report: Vandals strike in Parksville, prowler lurks in Nanoose Bay

Oceanside RCMP receive 276 complaints in one-week period

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read