A Campbell River man is spending the month of April running the length of Vancouver Island for at-risk youth.
Sixty-five-year-old Terry Kratzmann set off Wednesday on his 600-kilometre, tip-to-tip journey from Cape Scott Provincial Park to Mile Zero.
The run is in support of KidStart – a program administered by the John Howard Society that connects vulnerable kids with positive adult mentors in three locations across the Island, including in Greater Victoria.
Kratzmann spent three years as a mentor, showing the teen he was matched with a different way of experiencing life, he said.
The highlight of Kratzmann’s time with KidStart came when he accompanied his mentee to meet then-Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Scott Rolen.
“He just couldn’t believe that he was that important that Scott Rolen would take the time for him,” Kratzmann said. “It was incredible.”
His mentee is now too old for the program but he’s remained a good friend of Kratzmann’s.
Kratzmann’s run will finish in Victoria on April 28 with a final 5-K loop, open to runners and walkers of all abilities, starting at 9 a.m. at Mile Zero. Proceeds from the Victoria leg, led by local running legend Jim Finlayson, will benefit KidStart Victoria.
The Greater Victoria branch has made more than 100 mentor matches with kids aged 6- to 17-years-old since the program began in the region five years ago. KidStart is constantly accepting applicants to the program. For more information on becoming a mentor, contact Laurie Chesworth, co-ordinator of volunteers at 250-386-3428 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register for the KidStart run, or to donate to the effort, visit bit.ly/Hlwz32.