If the pandemic wasn’t enough of a wrench in the plan for the 4th Annual Charlee’s Run event, one last burst of winter gave participants yet another obstacle to overcome. Propelled by the support of the community, the event went off without a hitch and managed to raise $35,500 for paediatric and neonatal needs at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.
In March, organizers and Charlee’s parents, Dave and Mallory Holmes, switched gears, opting to continue with the event in a virtual form rather than cancel it entirely due to COVID-19. The community rallied around them and on May 9, 2020, more than 430 people participated in running together while apart.
“We are completely overwhelmed by the support our community has shown this year,” said Mallory. “We couldn’t have imagined that we would be able to come together like this—in the wake of a global pandemic without physically being present at an actual run—to raise awareness for pregnancy and infant loss in memory of our daughter Charlee and the lost little ones of many participants. To have the success of raising $35,500—we are truly blown away.”
“When Mallory and Dave were faced with the dilemma of changing the format of the run this year, we couldn’t have predicted this outcome,” said Lisa Wanamaker, OSMH Foundation Development Officer. “The Charlee’s Run community fully embraced the virtual run despite the snow, the distance and the fear of COVID-19 to raise an astounding amount of money for our paediatric needs. We owe a big thank you to Dave and Mallory, their sponsors and everyone who participated this year for the huge success of this virtual event.”
Since 2016, Charlee’s Run has raised $186,500 for paediatric and neonatal needs at Soldiers’. These funds have helped purchase a Bereavement Cart for the Obstetrics Floor, a Central Patient Monitoring System for the Paediatric Unit and an Operating Room Birthing Table for emergency and high-risk deliveries.
To learn more about Charlee’s Run, please visit www.charleesrun.com.
Cutline: Charlee’s parents Dave and Mallory Holmes and her brothers Mackenzie and Keenan backed by the entire Soldiers’ paediatrics team present a cheque for $35,500 to the OSMH Foundation in support of neonatal and paediatric needs at Soldiers’. To see more photos of the day, visit Facebook.com/CharleesRun.