Thinking back to that inaugural run day in the Lower Mainland, so many firsts come to mind. Our first volunteers were a group of CIBC employees who registered participants, gave out race bags and processed the money. That small group subsequently convinced CIBC that the Run touched their hearts and was a worthy cause for their bank to support. CIBC's invaluable participation today is due to those initial enthusiastic volunteers. Running Room volunteers also worked with us, handing out run kits, donating proceeds from the sale of their specifically designed running gear and generally creating sanity on the day of the event.
Before CIBC came on board as the title sponsor, the first Run title sponsor was Honda Canada. Honda not only donated draw prizes and the use of a spiffy car for a whole year, but also donated office space for the Foundation. For close to three years, everything we did was in that free space above the Honda showroom at the Richmond Auto Mall. Our costs scraped the floor rather than heading north. BC Tel donated a phone system. Early corporate supporters were so important.
Another first? The Run happened right in the middle of the 1993 Federal election campaigns. The sitting Prime Minister, our first woman to hold the title, was Kim Campbell. She and other politicians, including Mary Collins, Minister of National Health and Welfare, sported the T-shirts and mingled with the crowd. At the final medal ceremony and celebration, Campbell looked for the youngsters in the audience and spoke warmly and with great wit about the value of participation in the Run and in public service. The writing was on the wall for her campaign, but her enthusiasm and directness held everyone spellbound.
This time last year, at the 2013 CIBC Run for the Cure, my daughter was very, very pregnant. Now Connor Thomas Caldwell Morness has arrived, and he like all children, will need the love of his mom. Connor is a feisty little fellow. He’s also, shall we say “in training” for this weekend’s run (see the video posted below too!) although he also revels in whizzing along in a running stroller with his mom.
Chelsea loves to see the breeze ruffling his hair and to hear his laughter the faster they go. These are very special moments to have with a loved one. And, due to the progress we have made since founding the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation here in BC, Connor will be able to share many special moments in the future with his Nana too. And who knows what spin offs will benefit other cancers in the future?
The Vancouver Run is always on or within a day or two of my birthday. In a personal celebration I walk over to the route early to witness the thousands of people arriving ready to warm up to rockin’ music. Every year seems like the first when I overhear the stories the runners and volunteers bring with them, each doing their bit to create a future without breast cancer.
Every year I am flooded with gratitude just to be there.