Runners created a sea of red in the streets this weekend in an attempt to rally support for P.E.I.’s military families.
More than 200 runners and walkers took off from the HMCS Queen Charlotte Saturday morning for the seventh annual Wear Red Road Races.
Race director Charlotte Brown said all money raised goes towards P.E.I.’s Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC), which provides programs to soldiers’ family members while serving overseas and even after returning home.
“Which is really awesome because it goes directly to them and gets used right here on the Island,” said Brown.
The inclusive event, which includes visually and mobility impaired racers, began in 2008 when a small group of Island runners was searching for a spring half-marathon.
Unable to find one, the group decided to organize their own in support of military families with the name coming from the Military Family Services Centre’s Wear Red Fridays initiative.
“And red is more than just a colour. RED is an acronym for ‘Remember Everyone Deployed,’” P.E.I. MFRC executive director Donna Earl said in a statement. “We have the great honour of being an organization that serves the families of men and women who serve our country, and we can’t do this without funds.”
Organizer Allan Callard said the event has raised more than $15,000 since its inception.
Numbers were not available for last weekend’s event at the time of publication.
Callard said the group is also hoping to drum up some more corporate support for the growing event.
“A lot of it depends on sponsors,” said Callard. “We do wish we had a larger group of sponsors to help out with this event.”
Some of the major sponsors this year included the Charlottetown Running Room and ParaSport and Recreation P.E.I.
Brown said the event also saw support from a number of volunteers with the P.E.I. MFRC, HMCS Queen Charlotte and Holland College.
“And of course family and friends.”