Fundraising on firm footing – Winnipeg Free Press

Krista Waring may not be a runner, but she uses the activity to make a difference in the lives of others.

The 57-year-old Wolseley resident is the founder and race director for Run 4 Your Cause (R4YC). About 140 runners participated in the third annual event, which took place virtually last month. Participants raised more than $8,000 for seven charities.

“This was an opportunity to engage in social solidarity while practising physical distancing,” Waring says. “Folks were so appreciative. Now that we know how to do it, I think a virtual option will become part of future R4YC events.”

R4YC is the successor to Hand in Hand with Haiti, a charity run Waring co-founded with her friend Jacquie Daoudi.

Hand in Hand with Haiti benefited EMAS Canada, a Christian organization that provides education, medical aid and service in a number of countries around the world.

Waring’s husband, Pierre Plourde, is a physician, and the couple have traveled to Haiti with EMAS Canada numerous times in the past 33 years.

After six years of being a race director for Hand in Hand with Haiti, Waring worked with the Manitoba Runners’ Association to create R4YC.

She believed that if they offered an event that allowed smaller organizations to work together to create one fundraising run, rather than each doing their own, they would be able to offer a better experience for the participants.

They could also create more awareness and fundraising opportunities for the participating charities.

In addition to EMAS Canada, some of the organizations that this year’s event raised funds for included the Resource Centre for Manitobans who are Deaf-Blind, Winnipeg Lost Dog Alert and the Canadian Hemophilia Society’s Manitoba chapter.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Fair trade medals, hand-made from scrap metal by a Haitian artist, were presented to Run 4 Your Cause participants, which raised more than $8,000 for seven charities last month.</p>

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Fair trade medals, hand-made from scrap metal by a Haitian artist, were presented to Run 4 Your Cause participants, which raised more than $8,000 for seven charities last month.

“I love working with the variety of causes,” says Waring, who leads a seven-person committee to plan the event. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about different organizations and the great work that they do.”

Participants in this year’s R4YC could choose from four different challenges.

They could walk or run 3 km, 5 km, 10 km or participate in the 5 km “Awesome Twosome,” a two-person challenge that added together each person’s individual 5 km time to create a combined 10 km result.

Finishers each received a unique medal that was purchased following fair trade principles. The medals were hand-made out of scrap metal by a Haitian artist.

“The thing that sticks out for me the most is how grateful folks were that we still offered (an event),” Waring says, adding that planning a virtual challenge was very different from putting on a physical event. “It was a steep learning curve, but we put it together and had 141 take up the challenge—many from outside of Winnipeg.”

People from all over Manitoba and northwestern Ontario participated, as well as folks from the U.S., Switzerland and Israel.

“A lot of people were still deeply grieving not having events to go to, but I’m very pleased with the whole experience,” Waring says. “It did go quite well.”

Waring attributes her interest in volunteering to the influence of her parents, as well as her Christian faith.

In addition to her year-round work with R4YC and Hand in Hand with Haiti, she serves as president of the Manitoba Runners Association, treasurer for EMAS Canada, and treasurer for the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation.

She also volunteers in the two congregations she belongs to, St. Benedict’s Table and Epiphany Indigenous Anglican Church.

“I’m always wondering what I can do to make the world a better place in whatever context I’m in,” Waring says. “There’s no time for boredom, that’s for sure.”

If you know a special volunteer, please contact aaron.epp@gmail.com.

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