They’re calling themselves Kids Running For Kids.
It’s a group of Williams Lake youth who have undertaken the daunting task of running from Williams Lake to Vancouver. And, it’s all in the name of helping other children.
The group, being led by 150 Mile elementary teacher Rya Enns, currently consists of 32 kids aged five to 17 who will run by relay next summer to raise $25,000 for the Children’s Hospital.
So far kids from Mountview, Glendale, Cataline, Chilcotin Road and Kwaleen elementary schools have jumped on board.
“After the Cross Country Meet (the district elementary school running meet held annually in Boitanio Park) in October my kids were pumped about how well the Mountview kids finished overall in all the age categories so we started to talk about an idea to compete in a big run to raise money for some kind of cause,” Enns said.
“We heard about a family from Vernon who ran from Vernon to Vancouver last summer to raise money for Terry Fox so we began to toss ideas around about doing this kind of event.”
After some discussion with other parents the group decided on B.C.’s Children’s Hospital as the chosen beneficiary, as some of the kids’ friends have required care at the hospital.
“It’s spread like wildfire through the public,” Enns said. “We’ve seen great response.”
Four of the runners — Adriane Kennedy, 11, Faith Outhouse, 11, Grace Outhouse, 11 and Gabrielle Pierce, 10 — shared their reasons for getting involved with the event.
“I love running and I wanted to help the Children’s Hospital and make people aware,” Adriane said.
Faith said she is inspired by Terry Fox and thought doing something similar would go a long way.
“I really want to do something like he [Terry Fox] did,” Faith said. “It’s best for the kids at the hospital so they can get more money to get better.”
Grace said it’s cool to help children get cured.
“I like to run and I really think it’s cool we’re helping the Children’s Hospital,” she said. “It’s nice to be known you helped children get cured.”
Gabrielle said she has had friends who’ve required care at Children’s Hospital.
“I think it will be great,” she said. “I’ve had lots of friends that have been there and I would like to help somebody.”
Enns said the target goal is to have around 50 runners total with each child running five kilometres each day from June 30, 2012 (when they leave from the Stampede parade) to July 7, 2012, when they arrive at the Children’s Hospital and deliver a cheque for $25,000, personally.
“Each kid will run 40 kilometres,” Enns said. “That’s kind of what we were shooting for so they can say they completed a marathon when they’re done.”
Training for the run will begin in April, with each runner taking part in a three-month training program.
“We’ll do the KidSport Classic, and then we’ll be training two days at the school and then on a Sunday, each week, as a whole group,” she said.
Now, the task at hand is reaching their $25,000 fundraising goal.
“We’ve formed an executive and are well underway in our planning efforts,” Enns said, noting the team will be hosting several fundraisers over the coming months and seeking donations from local businesses.
Kids Running For Kids is asking local friends, families and businesses for donations in three areas including: cash donations directly to the B.C. Children’s Hospital, donations for operating costs and donations to sponsor kids for items like food, gas and camping costs for the trip.
Throughout the winter months they will be selling firewood in the community to help reach their goal.
Donations can also be made at the B.C. Children’s Hospital website at www.bcchf.ca/kidsrunningforkids.