From noon on March 11 to noon on March 12, two treadmills (provided by Flaman Fitness) at the Lululemon on Whyte were continuously powered by runners donating their sweat and their cash to the BGCBigs Eat Smart Program. It was the third-time River City Runners organized their 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge to raise money for a charity in Edmonton. This year, they chose to make sure that BGCBigs can continue to provide hot and healthy meals to some of our cities most vulnerable youth.
With over 40,000 kids living below the poverty line, we know food insecurity is a reality for many Edmonton families. Everyday BGCBigs makes sure kids at our community Clubs across the city don’t go hungry. Every dollar raised through the Treadmill Challenge equaled one meal for a child.
The result was over $30,000 – over 30,000 meals for our kids! Our staff were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the Edmonton running community. In just 15 minutes, each of the 48 spots on the treadmill were claimed and donations continued to stream in.
Runners were encouraged to reach out to their networks to contribute to the cause they were running for. A police officer asked people to donate and in return he would run the entire hour in his full police uniform. A hockey player encouraged donations by promising to run in a different jersey depending on how much he could raise. Another man wore a Spiderman costume!
For folks who didn’t consider themselves runners, Blitz Conditioning, Meg Stevenson, and YEG Cycle ran classes with the proceeds going to BGCBigs. Plus, DJ tag team Anushka Jayasuriya and Bradley James kept the atmosphere lively for nearly every single one of those 24 hours. And there were treats too – snacks from Bloom Cookies, drinks from Ribstone Creek, and dinner from Pizza Hut.
The atmosphere was full of fun and laughter and music.
This was an amazing fundraiser for BGCBigs. It was 100 percent volunteer driven thanks to the dedication of 20 of the River City Runners crew. It all started with a group of friends who decided to brand themselves and now they’re giving back to the community whose streets and river valley paths they run.
Jennifer Elliot is one of those runners and one of the volunteer group who put on the event. She tells us “running can change lives.” She’s right in more ways than one.
This fundraiser was truly a community effort and we’d like to give a huge thank you to the following people:
- To River City Runners for organizing this amazing event and making it possible
- To Lululemon on Whyte Avenue for giving us your space
- To Flaman Fitness for donating the use of two treadmills and $5,000 to the cause
- To Bliz Conditioning, Meg Stevenson, and YEG Cycle for donating your time and expertise and giving folks other ways to get involved
- To Pizza Hut, Ribstone Creek, and Bloom Cookies for keeping everyone fed and watered
- To Anushka Jayasuriya and Bradley James for the upbeat music to keep everyone going
- To Trent Schnider for staying awake for 24 hours to capture the magic on video (watch it below)
- To Jody Bailey for also staying awake to capture beautiful moments in photos
- To all the runners and each of their family, friends and colleagues who supported their efforts
*All photos used are courtesy of Jody Bailey.