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Rotary Run for Rwanda returns for 13th year

Bowen Island Rotary Club’s annual fundraiser supports girls pursuing education
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Runners get set at the Government Dock during a past Rotary Run for Rwanda.

Traditions, traditions, traditions! We Bowen Islanders love them, and perhaps the ongoing controversy about the Metro Parks’ acquisition of part of the Cape lands is a fear of losing our traditions that bind us as a community. Thankfully, our summer traditions are alive and well. Already this year we have enjoyed the Canada Day celebrations, the Round Bowen Yacht and Kayak Races, Snug Cove Music Fest and SwimBowen. Still to come are Dog Days, Bowfest and Handloggers Half Marathon.

Wait, what about our oldest tradition, Bowfest?! August 26 will be a great day for everyone who loves traditions that include the parade, music, good food and games, and many of us have been enthusiastic participants for many decades. That slug race is a favourite!

And then there is the Rotary Run for Rwanda that takes place earlier that morning. What was a very competitive Run for the Ferry has morphed into a community fun run and walk that is now celebrating its 13th year.

Does this make another Bowen tradition? The Rotary Club of Bowen Island and their associated charity, Komera Canada, certainly hope so as the run is the primary source of funds that go to Rwanda to support young women in graduating from high school and university. Many of the runners and walkers have joined this event faithfully every year, and love cheering for Colin Kerr, who needs a challenge in his record as winner of the 10K run every single year (even when wheeling baby Heidi in her stroller!)

The kids’ run for ages 9 and under starts at 8:30 am on the ferry dock. An easy 1.5K loop up to Miller Road through Crippen Park brings you back to the library lawn for a medal, water and yummy snacks. Mums with strollers and happy dogs on leashes also accepted! All for $10 per kid. 5K runners and 10K runners start at 9 am, with 5K walkers at the back of the pack. The route through Crippen Park is to be found on the website rotaryrunforrwanda.com

10K runners do twice the 5K route, with marshals guiding runners and walkers all the way, and a water stand will be located on Magee Road (by Killarney Lake entrance) for thirsty participants. There is a $60 family rate for up to five family members, and single runners pay $30 each. Check the website for some awesome t-shirts too!

There are exciting prizes for all age groups from lululemon, Forerunners, Cates Pharmacy, Phoenix on Bowen and Union Steamship Co. Water and treats are from Ruddy Potato, Snug Cove General Store, Artisan Eats, the Snug and Savary Island Pie Co.

Several financial sponsors support the event: Frits de Vries Architects, Cypress Engineered Housing, Bowen Island Properties, Dr. Gloria Chao, Presman Wealth and Barbara Wahler Interior Design. These donors are instrumental in enabling Komera Canada to finance the young women we support in Rwanda.

Let’s not forget that Bowen Island traditions have been created through the hard work of volunteers on projects that bring them joy and gratitude. Rotary is hoping that islanders will support them with continuing the RR4R tradition!

This is only one of the projects that Rotary currently supports. The recently installed drinking water fountain at USSC, AEDs, Matthew Harrison’s Peka project, house numbers, the BICS outdoor campus, the Trails Guide and countless other initiatives have been launched in the past 10 years since a small but enthusiastic group of islanders, spearheaded by much loved Piers Hayes, chartered the Rotary Club of Bowen Island. This is the power of Rotary and its motto: Service Above Self. Rotary enjoys helping people who have a worthy project and are prepared to work hard to achieve their goals.

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