Running strong against COVID-19
An Aylmerite residing in Montreal led around 60 people who ran around their neighbourhoods for an entire day in support of two regional food banks on May 15. Launched by 26-year-old Gabriel Camiré at the end of April, the initiative, titled the Défi Cadence 24h Virtuel, consisted of a 24-hour run-walkathon challenge inviting people to get active while raising funds for Moisson Outaouais and Moisson Montréal.
Free for anyone to participate, the challenge featured teams formed of around a dozen people in different locations running in intervals throughout the day. “Teams created their own schedule,” he said. The only rule was that every team needed to have at least one member running or walking throughout the entire 24 hours. With separate Facebook fundraisers set up for both food banks, the initiative collectively accumulated almost $10,000 – passing Camiré’s initial goal. “People are very generous,” he added. “It’s not all participants. In fact, the majority aren’t participants.”
The Outaouais initiative accumulated more than $4,200 for Moisson Outaouais with around 100 people donating in 15 days. The Montreal fundraiser collected almost $6,000 from nearly 150 donors. With no prizes to be won or winners to be crowned, Camiré explained that the main goal was to get people moving during the COVID-19 lockdown while also supporting local charities. “It’s not a competition,” he said. “It’s really a challenge. It’s about being proud of what we accomplished as much with physical activity as with the fundraiser … it’s really to have fun and better ourselves.”
Considering the number of people financially affected by the pandemic and the importance of food banks in their communities, Camiré felt he picked the best places to make a positive impact. “It’s going to lend a helping hand to those organizations,” Camiré said. “If we end up making a difference, it’s well appreciated.”