Although the Wounded Warriors relay run on Vancouver Island was cancelled for 2021 due to a COVID-19 spike in the province, two Port Alberni runners still managed to stage their own run, with help from local first responders.
Port Alberni RCMP Const. Maria Marciano and Dave Nesbitt from the Canadian Coast Guard held a 24-km run on Saturday, April 17 that took them past every firehall, the RCMP station, ambulance station and Royal Canadian Legion in the Alberni Valley.
They were joined on Saturday by local first responders Emma Nunn, Brian Callender, Erin Burrett, Faron Fournier and Naomi Burnett.
“Dave actually suggested it and I thought it was a great idea,” said Marciano. “It’s a way to thank the community for all their support and to let them know that although the run isn’t happening this year, we are still here and still trying to bring awareness. There was such an outpouring of support last year and I have received a lot of messages about doing the run again, plus all the fire halls did a fundraiser last week for Wounded Warriors, so this run really is for everyone that has and continues to support me and all the runners as a way to say thank you.”
The March 27 fundraiser, which was hosted by all four Alberni Valley fire departments (Port Alberni, Beaver Creek, Cherry Creek and Sproat Lake), was a drive-by poker rally that raised $225 for Wounded Warriors.
The April 17 run managed to pull in some donations, as well.
“Huge thank you to all the amazing people who supported us, cheered us on!” Nesbitt posted on Facebook after the run. “Waved, honked, came out to donate, and more! What an amazing community!”