TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Ten-year-old Chloe Anderson peers out from a stocking costume during the Jingle Bell Walk and Run for Arthritis at Kirkcaldy Heights School on Nov. 4.
Despite the early snow and the cool weather, 50 walkers, runners and volunteers showed up "with bells on" for the Arthritis Society’s fourth annual Jingle Bell Walk & Run for Arthritis on Nov. 4.
Rowan Hildebrandt walks dressed as Santa for the Jingle Bell Walk and Run for Arthritis, which raises money for better treatments, programs and services for those suffering from arthritis, as well as for work towards a cure. Rowan’s five-year-old sister Tori Hildebrandt has Polyarticular Arthritis and had a variety of friends and family out walking and running to support her. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Funds raised at this festive, family-friendly event have topped the $10,000 mark — which is "awesome," said Genny Sacco-Bak, the Arthritis Society’s regional events and development co-ordinator.
The funds go towards research, education and programming.
"This is such a fun event. Everyone dresses up in holiday costumes and many of the costumes were very imaginative this year," said Sacco-Bak. "The sound of jingle bells echoed inside and out."
This non-competitive event, held at the Kirkcaldy Heights School gym and the oval track behind the Sportsplex, offered a one-kilometre or five-kilometre route. But because of the cool weather and snow on the track, participants were encouraged to walk or run only as long as they were comfortable doing so.
Volunteers from St John’s Ambulance were on hand to help escort people who needed assistance walking across the icy roads from the track to the school.
Brandon Mayor Shari Decter Hirst participated in the event.
"Don’t you just love the snow? It really helps set the holiday mood. It’s wonderful to see everyone out today especially the children — and to know how important this event is to raise awareness and monies for the important work that the Arthritis Society does in our province."
Participants were treated to a post-event breakfast — all donated by local Brandon businesses — and enjoyed holiday music, prizes, goodie bags and the great energy of all the children, including Tori Hildebrandt of MacGregor, and Brooklynn Wazura of Brandon, both of whom live with Juvenile Arthritis.
The Arthritis Society is still accepting donations online. People can go to www.jinglebellwalkrun.ca
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 13, 2012