Race raises funds for Haven of Hope kitchen

Race raises funds for Haven of Hope kitchen #274

Crossing the finish line is nothing new for Meghan Braithwaite and her sevenyear-old daughter Jocelyn. On Saturday, the motherdaughter team was the first to finish the 14th annual Salvation Army Santa Shuffle five-kilometre run and onekilometre elf walk. The event took place in 41 Canadian cities.

Meghan and Jocelyn competed in the elf walk. They wore Santa hats, although Jocelyn’s was flashier, with blinking lights that spelled Merry Christmas.

Meghan noted that they participated in the event last year when the temperature was a frigid -43 C with the wind chill.

Even so, they finished the race and Jocelyn won a large stuffed animal moose for being the youngest in the event.

This year, they were happy to see the temperature climb to -4 C. “So, in the sun, this is much better,” said Meghan.

In Regina, the race began and ended in the parking lot at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.

The 200 runners registered this year are the most in the event’s Regina history, explained Maj. Doug Binner of the Salvation Army.

Binner said the goal was to raise $10,000 to help with upgrades and renovations at the Haven of Hope Community Ministries kitchen, to better serve the organization’s school feeding program.

“Last year, we gave out over 29,000 healthy school lunches. And, with some kitchen renovations, we’re going to be able to do that more efficiently and more effectively,” said Binner.

“I talked to one little boy this morning who took his pledge sheet to school and hit up all of his teachers (and) raised $175. I talked to another lady who sold cupcakes and got pledges for selling cupcakes and she’s raised over $1,000. So, from anywhere and everywhere, runners can get support and pledges for what they’re doing,” Binner said.

Jocelyn also participated with Meghan in the Queen City Marathon this year.

“She now thinks running is fun. So, new recruit. There’s lots of kids this year, which is really nice to see,” said Meghan.

Their team raised more money this year than last year. They plan to participate again next year to reach their fundraising goal.

“We have a lot. And, this is part of Christmas,” explained Meghan.

“Part of Christmas is thinking about you’ve got family and you’ve got lots and there is people that don’t have that. I want my kids to know that part of Christmas is thinking about your community, and this is definitely part of your community.” tmceachern@leaderpost.com

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