About 130 people will be running under the Epilepsy Halton Peel Hamilton banner at the Oct. 14 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, an annual five- and 2.5-kilometer run that raises money for a myriad of charities. The agency is hoping the event will raise $50,000.
Money raised will continue to support the programs, services, education and support that the agency provides for people living with epilepsy, their families and caregivers, explains the agency’s executive director Cynthia Milburn.
Aside from the funds raised, the event also provides visibility for the agency and creates camaraderie through its partnership with Epilepsy Ontario, which is also sending a team to run under the banner of Epilepsy Halton Peel Hamilton, she adds.
“This event engages our clients and provides them with a way to give back as many have signed on with ambitious fundraising goals,” says Milburn.
Milburn says while the run is primarily a fundraising event, it’s also an opportunity for epilepsy awareness, “as the sea of purple shirts walk and run throughout the crowd.”
“This year, over 120 participants are on our team and this is due to the dedicated staff, volunteers and Board at Epilepsy Halton Peel Hamilton,” says Milburn, adding that 30 people ran for the agency in 2011.
Epilepsy Ontario’s executive committee president Elisa McFarlane says the agency joined Epilepsy Halton Peel Hamilton as a show of solidarity. Money raised by the Epilepsy Ontario team will be put towards provincial programs such as the summer camp and advocacy and epilepsy research. Participating in the event is also an opportunity to help raise awareness of epilepsy, she notes. (Click here to sponsor Team Epilepsy Ontario).
“We will all be in our purple garb to promote the cause — the awareness part is really important to us as well as raising funds,” McFarlane says.
Participants on the Epilepsy Halton Peel Hamilton team include Denise Cathcart, who has won several ribbons and medals in the Paralympics, and Angela Watson, who is running in the marathon for the 25th straight year.
Epilepsy Toronto will also have a team in the Scotiabank Marathon this year.
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Writer: Deron Hamel