Starting June 25, firefighters from Oak Bay and Victoria will run laps along with staff and students from adjacent Oak Bay High to raise funds for an alumni project to resurface the community track.
The ’Round in Circles fundraiser started after the local firefighters’ annual Sausage Fest was cancelled for 2020 and the Oak Bay team was on the hunt for a pandemic-friendly fundraiser.
Inspired by Oak Bay resident John Hillman who did 101 laps of his courtyard that year to raise funds for Save the Children, they came up with a 24-hour relay at the Jack Wallace Memorial Track.
That year, four departments raised $10,000 for a variety of charities, including KidSport Greater Victoria.
The event returns this year, raising cash for the community track they’ll run on, said Aidan Wells, executive director for Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation.
The track adjacent to the Oak Bay Recreation Centre is a busy one, frequently used by parents pushing strollers, joggers, walkers and Greater Victoria Special Olympics BC athletes, among others.
The track is Commonwealth Games legacy infrastructure – last resurfaced for 1994 – and while well maintained, it’s in need of a revamp. A campaign started in 2018 targeted $240,000 for a facelift. Three years later the upgrade estimate is higher – $376,000. The campaign has raised about $200,000 to date.
The ’Round in Circles fundraising event features food from The Rack and entertainment including Jaimey Hamilton, Oak Bay High jazz band and The Bald Eagles Band.
The Oak Bay firefighters and their counterparts from the Victoria department will run the track alongside students and staff from the adjacent high school and the public is welcome to join any time in those 24 hours, starting June 25 at noon.
Track donations beyond $20 are eligible for a taxable receipt. Donations can be online through Rotary at canadahelps.org/en/charities/oak-bay-rotary-foundation.
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