Easter Seals 24 Hour Relay

Easter Seals 24 Hour Relay

April 29, 2014 19:50 ET

35 Years and Counting: Easter Seals 24 Hour Relay Celebrates 35 Years of Running and Fundraising

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 29, 2014) - Thirty-five years ago, Saturday nights were filled with The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. Thirty-five years ago, Margaret Thatcher was elected the first female prime minister in Britain. Thirty-five years ago, the USSR invaded Afghanistan, a nuclear reactor on Three Mile Island melted down and more than 60 Americans were taken hostage in Tehran.

And 35 years ago, the Seawall Running Society created the 24 Hour Relay. The goal then, as it is now, was to raise funds to send children with physical and cognitive disabilities to Easter Seals camps in British Columbia.

These camps can make all the difference for these children and their families. And they need your support more than ever.

That's because, in 35 years, more than TV shows and national borders have changed. Since 1979, charity dollars in the Vancouver community have been spread much thinner, with fewer dollars to go around to many more causes. The Relay, once the lone fundraiser on the track, now shares the landscape with many competitors, including numerous run/walks, cycling, and obstacle events.

This year, the 35th Annual 24 Hour Relay is slated for June 14. The goal is to have 80 teams sign up to run around Burnaby's Central Park starting Saturday morning and wrapping up 24 hours later; so far, only 41 teams have done so. Teams are made up of runners, sprinters and walkers, each taking their turn on the track throughout the day and night, each committing to raising funds for the young campers attending the three Easter Seal Camps around the province.

In 1994, the top year of earnings for the 24 Hour Relay, 170 teams raised nearly $1.4 million dollars. Last year the funds raised by the efforts of the dedicated teams and runners fell to $750,000. Participants continue to donate with passion and true generosity, but regrettably, fewer people are joining the charge.

"Our camps are really the best place on Earth for children with disabilities," says Stephen J. Miller, president and CEO of the B.C. Lions Society for Children with Disabilities, Easter Seals British Columbia and Yukon.

The three Easter Seals camps in B.C. are designed with the special needs of these children in mind. Ramps, lifts, accessible washrooms, special nurses and a lower staff-camper ratio than is found at conventional camps all allow the campers to participate fully in this summer tradition. Features such as wheelchair-accessible low-ropes courses, giant swings, modified climbing walls and trampolines built into the ground help them build life skills, develop confidence and experience the sheer joy of summer.

To join this longstanding tradition of fundraising and make the dreams of some wonderful children come true, please contact the Easter Seals team to sign up or donate at www.24hourrelay.com or call (604) 873-1865.

Once registered in the 24 Hour Relay, much like the campers, run teams will be supported every step of the way.

Stephen J. Miller, MBA, CFRE
British Columbia Lions Society For Children with Disabilities
Easter Seals British Columbia & Yukon
3981 Oak Street
Vancouver, BC V6H 4H5

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