Help support our Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k runners and walkers on the cheer squad!
You’re grinding it out on the road. Your legs are heavy; your eyeballs are sweating. You’re 21 kilometres in to a 21.1-kilometre race and you can see the finish line, but you can’t quite find the energy to power though. Then something rises up around you and pulls you through the last 100 metres: the cries of encouragement and waves of applause from the cheerful supporters. The unsung heroes behind any successful race are the groups of devoted spectators. On June 23 at this year’s Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k, we want you to join our cheer squad, a group of volunteers cheering for the walkers and runners raising funds in support of people affected by dementia.
Heading up our volunteer cheer squad is former Alzheimer Society of B.C. co-op student and volunteer extraordinaire, Morné Thompson. Morné was first introduced to the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k in 2018, when he was stationed at the Society’s information booth within the Charity Village, a network of tents showcasing all organizations raising funds and awareness through the Charity Challenge.
“I remember the sense of community amongst the charities there,” Morné says. “There was such a collection of people from different causes and they were all so proud and supportive of each other.”
The main role for volunteers, however, is beyond the quieter atmosphere of the Charity Village, and out on the roadside, as a part of our cheer squad.
“The only special skill you need is to be able to smile and be encouraging,” Morné says. "If you can be an encouraging presence, that’s a gift. It’s so easy to give, but so touching to the runners who have just done something so difficult.”
Day-of-event volunteers play an important role in ensuring our fundraising events are a success. Not only does their support help motivate our Charity Challenge participants reach their goals, but by strengthening our presence at the event, they allow us to share our vision of building a more supportive and inclusive province for people affected by dementia with people who haven’t yet connected with the Society.
“It’s the perfect first step for someone interested in volunteering,” Morné says. “It’s a wonderful way to get connected. You give one day and there are so many connections and opportunities that come out of it. And there are lots of snacks.”
To join Morné on the cheer squad and help support the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s Charity Challenge team at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k on June 23 in Stanley Park, email Glen Mountfield at [email protected]. To learn more about taking part in the event as a runner or a walker, visit http://alzbc.org/Scotia-Half-5k. Donations to the team can be made at https://alzbc.org/charity-challenge-2019.
Morné Thompson in the Charity Village in 2018.