Over 825 runners and 100 volunteers gathered together at Simon Fraser University on a spectacular Sunday morning to celebrate and empower individuals with Down syndrome at the 21st Annual Run Up for Down Syndrome.
Those who were present were backed by an army of thousands of cheerleaders and supporters, united in their desire to see people with Down syndrome reach their full potential. The Run represented a major step in that direction, with a record-setting $115,000 (net) raised for educational programs at the Down Syndrome Research Foundation.
More than 40 local businesses lent their support to the cause, led by lead sponsor Euro-Rite Cabinets, whose 143-member team combined to raise over $41,000.
"At Euro-Rite, our involvement in Run Up for Down Syndrome is a reflection of our 'We Care' philosophy," said Euro-Rite founder Bill Longman in kicking off the event. "We believe we have both the responsibility and the privilege of making a difference in our community, and we are honoured to work alongside the Down Syndrome Research Foundation to empower individuals with Down Syndrome to reach their full potential."
There was no shortage of smiles as runners of all ages and abilities made their away around the race course. When they weren't running, participants were enjoying the Encorp Return-It Kidz Zone, two Science Magic performances by Care and Jordan, and scrumptious food courtesy of Burnaby Artisan Farmers Market, Ragazzi Pizza, Starbucks and Rainbow Ice Cream.
Other major sponsors of the event included LiUNA (Western Canada), CTV Vancouver (whose Mike Killeen hosted the event, while his co-anchor Tamara Taggart ran on behalf of Team Beckett), Subway, AllWest Insurance, Pioneer Distributors, Spirit Ridge NK'MIP Resort and Woodhouse & Associates Inc. (Please see full list of sponsors at right.)
Congratulations go out to our major award winners: Ainsley's Army (team fundraising award), Team Euro-Rite (team spirit award), Tamara Leslie ("Break the Internet Day" top fundraiser), Brent Diemert (fundraising draw), Madison Yonge (Classroom Challenge top fundraising child) and Jazmin Thurston (t-shirt design contest).
A huge thank you to all the volunteers who made the 21st Run Up for Down Syndrome run smoothly, and to Simon Fraser University for being such gracious hosts. We extend our appreciation to emcee John Crosby, Yvamara Rodriguez Zumba, and mascots from Subway, the Vancouver Canadians and Encorp Return-It. Thank you as well to each and every runner, walker, team captain, corporate sponsor and donor. Together, we have made an immeasurable difference in the lives of many individuals with Down syndrome and their families.
We look forward to seeing you again next year at the 22nd Annual Run Up for Down Syndrome!
Please note: The Run Up fundraising website will remain open for donations until the end of June. To make a donation, click here.