Daffodil Dash Did Wonders.

A few people taking part in the "Survivors' Lap" at the Daffocil Dash. Photo by Lauren Derksen.
A few people taking part in the "Survivors' Lap" at the Daffocil Dash. Photo by Lauren Derksen.

Contributed by Val Rossi

Daffodils are still blooming in Sunningdale, reminding the community of a successful Canadian Cancer Society event that planted hope and support for individuals touched by cancer.

Daffodil Dash Trail held April 30th at Gyro Park in Trail just surpassed its $29,000 goal and raised over $31,000 toward cancer research, prevention and support programs for people living with cancer and their families.

"The energy was amazing at this year's Daffodil Dash, when well over 100 people walked or ran to honour or recognize loved ones," says Valerie Rossi, Annual Giving Coordinator. "The event paid special tribute to our local survivors through a survivor lap, accompanied by vocals from Nevaeh DeRosa-Whyte, and a survivor tent, organized by long-time Society volunteer Jenny Murray."

Sunshine brought high energy and feelings of joy to those who made their way down to Gyro and so did the many components of this years' event. Guitarist and singer Peter Makortoff and his old time favourites had the crowd tapping their feet during his intimate performance. Participants took ownership with this year's new "I'm dashing for" ribbons, created and donated by VH Sport, by acknowledging who they were honouring or remembering that day. Selkirk College nursing students added fun for the kids with face painting and colouring and was a compliment to the army of smiling volunteers who offered a few hours of their time.

The walk or 5/10 km run inspired people of all fitness levels and much like Relay For Life, which had 15 successful years in Trail, the second annual Dash was undertaken by fundraising individuals or teams.

Some participants chose to designate their efforts, much like Trail resident Lynn Gould did with her Team NRG's focus on pediatric cancer in honour and memory of her late granddaughter Natasha Rose Gould (NRG). Lynn encouraged local elementary schools to again organize and run their own in-house miniature dashes under her team's banner and the concept of kids helping kids had a large impact with funds raised through school events attributing to over $6,000 of the approximate $11,000 Team NRG brought in.

"The value added by the school-hosted events held at St. Michael's, Fruitvale Elementary, Webster, Glenmerry Elementary and Rossland Summit School can't just be measured by donations, as working together to make a difference for the cause also brought an awareness piece that was passed off to young learners," adds Val.

This year's generous event donors and sponsors included Teck, EZ Rock, Pacific Coastal, Black Press, Gerick Sports, Zellstoff Celgar, the Goat, Interior Signs and Kootenay Savings Credit Union and numerous local businesses that stepped up with cash or in-kind values.

"The response from the community was once again incredible," adds Val. "We have some amazing community businesses that are champions in helping local charitable organizations."

The introduction of the "Children's Garden of Hope" brought further meaning to some of the participants who took time to remember or cherish friends or family as they walked or ran past the garden at the Sunningdale "Y" planted by Lynn's NRG Team and supported by Trail Community in Bloom.

"It is never too soon to inspire children to help others and learn to support those who are less fortunate," according to Lynn.

The Daffodil Dash Trail 2017 planning committee was pleased with how the event turned out and has already met to discuss how to build on it for next year. Anyone interested in volunteering at the committee level is encouraged to contact Val at vrossi@bc.cancer.ca To stay connected to Society-related happenings, please "like" the West Kootenay Boundary Canadian Cancer Society Facebook page.

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