Since its beginning in 2004, Shelagh Germyn, founder and organizer of the Women for Women (W4W) Trail Mix Challenge, has raised $20,000 to support 40 Campbell River mothers as they return to school to continue their education at North Island College.
At age 21 Germyn fell in love with running and over the years, she has volunteered for many running events and clinics that have raised funds for the community.
Germyn saw an opportunity to combine her passion for running with her personal desire to help single moms and the Women for Women Trail Mix Challenge was born.
Inspired by the Campbell River Young Parent’s Program (CRYPP) that supports young parents as they work towards high school graduation, Germyn wanted her event to take that concept one step farther.
“We wanted the event to be a continuation of what the CRYPP was doing for young moms,” says Germyn. “We wanted to raise awareness through education; to help our Campbell River single mothers who have finished Grade 12 know they also have an opportunity to continue their post-secondary education with the help of a bursary.
“And these moms are also setting an example for their own children. It’s amazing.”
Each year, the race begins at the Carihi Secondary School field in Campbell River. There are five and ten km trail runs as well as a shorter run for children, and participants may walk or run.
All funds raised goes directly towards the bursary program for Campbell River single moms.
Julie Snowdon was selected as a recipient of a W4W bursary by the NIC Foundation in 2006. She writes, “When I chose to go back to school, I never imagined the impact it would have on me personally. I have become even more confident and stronger intellectually and spiritually.
“Having the opportunity to go back to school, yet still balance my life as a single mother of two little boys was a transition that very easily fell into place. It makes me very happy that I am showing my little boys that education is the key to success.”
Germyn is a small woman with giant ambition and an even bigger heart.
The child of a single parent home, Germyn never pursued her own post-secondary education.
She chose to focus her energy on her own children and their education, and now on the mothers and children in her community.
“Knowing that we’re giving hope to single moms and helping them to continue their education, what could be better?” says Germyn. “That’s what the Women for Women Trail Mix Challenge does!”
This year’s race will take place on Saturday, Sept. 8.
For updates, running tips and more information visit them on facebook at Women-For-Women-5k10k-Trail-Mix-Challenge-and-Kids-Run.