This past Saturday, October 3, marked the 6th year of the annual Superhero Run in support of Niagara Children’s Centre. The annual family-oriented event aims to bring families together who are involved with the Centre and community supporters, all with a common purpose of having fun and raising funds to support Niagara Children’s Centre.
Our focus each year is always on making the event fun and accessible for all. Many of our families tell us that the Centre feels like a second home because we focus on including the whole family, and we want our fundraisers to have the same feeling.
“The Superhero Run is one of our favourite family events of the year. It’s the best inclusively designed event in Niagara that is fun for the whole family regardless of ability. Most importantly, it is an opportunity for our family to support the Centre that we love and call home, as they have helped and strengthened us over the years,” shared Centre parent Michelle Sanders. “We look forward to it every year!”
In past years, participants could run a 2.5K, 5K or complete a 1K fun walk, which featured accessible and family-friendly activities. This year, we had to get creative and go virtual, but we knew we had to keep the fun going.
“We know this event is a favourite for the families of our Centre and members of the community, while also being a key fundraiser for our Centre” said Oksana Fisher, CEO. “We wanted to find a way to keep the spirit alive, while respecting the recommendations of our governments and health units. We’re thankful that our supporters and sponsors came out in full force this year, despite its challenges to help us exceed our fundraising goal and bring in over $80,000 in a year where we thought COVID-19 would be our Kryptonite.”
We asked participants to track and post their runs and times on our social media page, and we crafted 6 fun activities for families to complete from home. This included making a superhero badge, Zoom calling a superhero, completing “acts of kindness” bingo, a virtual dance party and more.
And our participants came out in full force. They dressed up, go out to walk, run and have fun. They shared pictures and videos of their day with each other on our social media page and made the most of the beautiful fall day.
“On Saturday morning, I ran 21.11km in support of the Niagara Children’s Centre Superhero Run and Team Alexander. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning and I had a great run! While I was running, I thought about all of the mighty superheroes that I’ve had the privilege to meet at the Centre along with their incredible parents. Some of whom are now very dear friends and an important part of our village.
I thought about the crucial role the Centre has had and continues to have in our daily lives and all that we have learned from the therapists and support services since Alexander’s very first day there. Lessons that have improved Alexander’s development tremendously and things that we carry out at home in every aspect of his life,” Sabrina, mom of Centre client Alexander, shared on our page.
Each year the Run has been presented by The Viola Salter Group, and this year was no different. Their dedication to the over 5,800 children we serve each year continues to inspire our community to give generously.
In total, the Superhero Run has raised $321,242 over 6 years to support children and youth throughout Niagara with special needs. With an ever growing waitlist, Niagara Children’s Centre relies on community support to ensure our clients get the services they need, when they need them.
We are hopeful that 2021 brings us back to an in-person event, but if it doesn’t, our virtual event was more than we could have hoped for and we’re sure we can make it even better in the future.