The KidStart Run will be underway Wednesday.
Terry Kratzmann and Shane Douglas will set off from the beach at Nissen Bight, Cape Scott Provincial Park, and head south. A whopping 375 km later Douglas will say goodbye to Kratzmann in Courtenay, and Kratzmann will carry on for another 225 km to Victoria – running a total of 600 km for the KidStart Mentoring Program!
“If we can save one kid from falling through the cracks, 600 km is not that far,” said Kratzmann, a Campbell River resident who was a KidStart mentor for more than three years.
Kratzmann, who is 65 and has an artificial hip, was so inspired by his personal experience with KidStart that he decided to run the length of Vancouver Island to raise funds and awareness for the mentoring program.
Douglas lives in Courtenay and has been a KidStart mentor for close to two years.
“I met Terry at a Kidstart meeting late last year and his drive and tenacity inspired me to start running. I want to raise as much awareness of the positive benefits of KidStart as possible,” he said.
KidStart is offered by The John Howard Society of North Island in Campbell River and the Comox Valley. The volunteer-based program focuses on the positive development of vulnerable children and youth ages 6-18 who could benefit from having stable, committed, and caring adults in their lives.
KidStart connects children and youth with carefully screened and trained adult mentors. These volunteers spend three or more hours with their “mentee” each week. Through role modeling and encouraging kids to participate in activities that build their confidence, mentors help children and youth become more resilient and successful.
You can help Kratzmann and Douglas in their monumental effort for KidStart! Sign up to run or walk a portion of the KidStart Run: 5 km into Campbell River on April 14, Courtenay on April 15, or Victoria on April 28. A KidStart Run t-shirt is included in your registration fee.
Cheer on the runners by coming out to a KidStart Run event. On Saturday, April 14 the runners will be arriving at Campbell River’s Spirit Square at 11:30 a.m. Come down for a salmon burger bbq! On Sunday, April 15 the run will arrive at Courtenay’s Simms Park at noon. Come for snacks and to cheer on the runners! If you’re in Victoria on April 28, head to South Park Elementary School field (508 Douglas Street) at 10 a.m. for the grand finale of the KidStart Run.
One of the main purposes of the run is to raise funds for KidStart. This life changing program for vulnerable kids relies on donations, grants, and Gaming funds. If you can, make a pledge to one of the runners. Your donation will help the kids who need it most in your community.
JHSNI would like to thank the KidStart Run’s major sponsors: Tyee Chevrolet Buick GMC, The Eagle 97.3 FM, Brooks, and Marine Harvest.
To make a pledge, register for the run, or order a KidStart Run t-shirt, visit www.jhsni.bc.ca and click on the KidStart Run link. For more info, contact JHSNI at 250-286-0611 in Campbell River or 250-338-7341 in Courtenay.