Participants in this year’s GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon can choose to fundraise for a myriad of incredible charities, including the Broadmead Care Society, a non-profit health provider that offers residential care and community services. (Submitted)

GoodLife marathon helps enrich lives, share stories

Seniors’ care one of many causes supported by GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Broadmead Care has been helping veterans and seniors experience belonging and happiness since the 1970s, but this year members of the Greater Victoria non-profit’s team are putting on some running shoes and trying something new.

Broadmead has 19 runners and two teams participating in the 40th annual GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, Vancouver Island’s premier running event that draws more than 8,000 participants to raise money for charities of their choice.

READ ALSO: 39th Year for GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon supports myriad charities

The marathon’s three official charities for 2019 are KidSport Greater Victoria, GoodLife Kids Foundation and the Pacific Autism Family Centre. A charity pledge program also includes 21 other charity programs, including the Broadmead Care Society.

“We are so thrilled with the response we’ve had,” said Mandy Parker, vice president of philanthropy and communications at Broadmead Care and chair of GoodLife Marathon’s charity pledge program. “Right now we’ve got 19 people who have joined the Broadmead Care umbrella and to date, we’ve raised $7,200 towards our $10,000 goal.”

Broadmead Care, a health and residential care provider, operates five care homes in Victoria, Saanich and Sidney, with some also providing a range of continuing care services. The facilities also offer adult day programs with activities such as art, exercise, music, textiles, gardening and more.

“Our whole purpose is to provide an environment where people can experience happiness to whatever extent that looks like for them,” Parker said. “Our purpose is to build communities where extraordinary relationships can flourish and help people experience well being and happiness.”

READ ALSO: Victoria marathoner’s message one of hope

Parker herself is joining one of two Broadmead Care marathon teams this October, with the personal mission of raising funds for a new facility to replace Nigel House – a Broadmead Care centre in Saanich.

“Nigel House was built in the 1970s and is beyond its useful life,” she explained in her mission statement. A new home for Nigel House will include 41 residential care beds for adults with disabilities with ages ranging from 20 to 70 and will include 10 affordable housing units and 37 assisted living units.

Another Broadmead Care representative is Michael Majocha, he is running the full GoodLife marathon to support activity programs for residents at Veterans Memorial Lodge. After battling throat cancer, Majocha was inspired by one of the veterans at the lodge, a former paratrooper and peacekeeper named Fritz.

“Despite being wheelchair-bound and dealing with debilitating disease, [Fritz] maintains a positive attitude, good-natured spirit, and upbeat approach as he participates in creative arts, word games and indoor sports of all kinds,” Majocha said. “Our donation will go a long way to keep these and other programs such as gardening, yoga, chair dancing and musical entertainment going and growing … really enriching the lives of our dear precious elders.”

Parker said the marathon is more than just an opportunity to enrich the lives of Greater Victoria veterans and seniors.

“It enables us to tell the stories of the people that live with us,” she said. “They’re the ones whose lives we’re trying to improve.”

READ ALSO: GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon a wet ride

The 40th annual GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon takes place Sunday, Oct. 13. More than 8,000 participants are expected to take part in this year’s events including the marathon, half marathon, 8K road race and Thrifty Foods Kids Run.

For more information on this year’s marathon, visit runvictoriamarathon.com.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

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