Challenge your co-workers to a healthy competition in support of people living with dementia

A mission to support people affected by dementia unites staff and volunteers at the Alzheimer Society of B.C., but on a sunny Vancouver morning last June, three employees came together for another reason: to face off at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k. The run is a healthy way to boost camaraderie among colleagues while breaking the stigma of dementia and building a more welcoming and inclusive community. For our Society staff team, the 2017 race was the culmination of weeks of training, fundraising and a friendly competition between the co-workers who ran the 21.1-kilometre half-marathon distance. This year, with more runners registered on our employee team and more bragging rights on the line, the stage is set for another exciting showdown at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k, coming up on June 24, 2018

“Not only is this event a way for me to use my love for running to raise funds, it lets me get to know my friends and colleagues in a new and fun way," says Bark Kong, Director of Finance & Administration who has already run six full and eight half-marathons. "For example, I learned that Emily (Pridham, Manager, Regional Services for Vancouver Island) is really competitive – almost as much as I am.”

A month before the event last year, Emily joined the team and decided to run the half-marathon without having ever run a distance longer than 10k. While she expected to enjoy the physical competition with her colleagues, Emily was surprised by how much she enjoyed the contest to collect the most fundraising dollars in support of the team. She started out authoring tentative social media posts and ended up enthusiastically knocking on her neighbours’ doors – and she liked it. “I got competitive because I saw (my teammates’) totals going up and I didn’t want to be left in the dust,” she says.

Another Society staffer is raising the stakes this year and running to the half-marathon finish line. Development Coordinator Allison Baker, a marathoner who usually goes it alone, took the opportunity to bond with her colleagues while furthering the Society’s mission. “Running can be a very lonely sport,” Allison says. “I’m excited to do it with a team because I’m extra competitive and I’m usually just competing with myself.”

Bark, Emily and Allison see their healthy half-marathon rivalry as an opportunity boost fundraising dollars and achieve good time; however, not everyone on the team is taking the same approach. Theresa Frazao, Development Officer, Events plans to enjoy the atmosphere during the 5k run, an event that attracts walkers and runners of all fitness levels. “The crowds, the entertainment, the cheerleaders and the charity village all add to a great festival environment and you’ll have a blast while doing some good for the Alzheimer Society of B.C,” she says.

Support people affected by dementia with your co-workers, family or friends by joining the Alzheimer Society of B.C. in the Charity Challenge at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k on June 24. Visit for details. Read more about the runners on our staff team here and click here to track their progress and donate to their team page.

Pictured above at the 2017 Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k are, Alzheimer Society of B.C. employees Emily Pridham, Theresa Frazao and Bark Kong, who all participated in the Charity Challenge for the Society.

Last Updated: 05/04/2018