LITTLE CURRENT – Not everyone is aware of the amazing work being done by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), but those who are aware are very passionate in their support. That passion was impossible to ignore on Saturday, July 13 as the sixth and final edition of Mackenzie’s Walk/Run for CHEO got underway at Low Island Park.
The crowd of nearly 100 supporters and volunteers gathered with their pledge forms to help propel the memorial sprint past its $20,000 goal, with donations topping out over $20,000 and counting.
“I know I said I thought that last year was likely going to be the last,” said event organizer Jillian Peltier, whose late son Mackenzie, in whose memory the event is named, succumbed to illness 10 years ago. “But it seemed more fitting to end it when Mackenzie would have been 10.”
Sporting custom T-shirts, participants ran or walked either a five-kilometre course through the streets of Little Current, or raced the one-kilometre youth course along the Low Island section of the waterfront trail system.
“Every year I am amazed at how many people come out to support us,” said Ms. Peltier. “As of last year, we had raised $18,304.50, and with all of you and all of the cash I have here today I am certain we have surpassed the $20,000 mark.” In fact, the tally is well past the $22,000 mark.
Ms. Peltier’s husband Lanny, who was manning one of the water stations along the route reported seeing a deer cross the road nearly. “So we have already had a visit from Mackenzie,” said Ms. Peltier. “But this is definitely the last one, so thank you so much to all of the people who have supported this event and helped keep the memory of Mackenzie with us.”