Nearly 300 participants turned out in Pointe-Claire’s Valois Park on Sunday, September 10, for the first annual “Course pour la compassion,” a walk and run to benefit the West Island Palliative Care Residence. Together, they raised $32,000, an important new contribution to the Residence, which counts on community support for two-thirds of its annual budget.
The event, which is already being planned to be repeated next year, was originated and organized by race director, Debbie Elvidge and an enthusiastic committee of volunteers. Charles River Laboratories Inc. in Senneville was the generous corporate sponsor. The participants together collected donations from family and friends for their participation in the event’s 1-kilometre walk or 5-km walk/run.
It was an early morning full of fun and surprises, generously hosted by Sharon Hyland from CHOM-FM. Activities included kids’ stations with mascots, face painting, and a candy bar, as well as other free snacks, drinks and samples. There was also an onsite massage service, fitness evaluation, door prizes and more to create a very festive atmosphere that was enjoyed under good weather.
Local member of the National Assembly for Jacques-Cartier Geoffrey Kelley, Quebec’s Minister Responsible for Native Affairs, was among the participants along with his whole family. Both of Mr. Kelley’s parents spent their last days at the Residence and the Kelley family have been longtime supporters of the community facility.
“It is extremely encouraging to see the great support for the Residence that has come from this very grassroots event in the community,” said Teresa Dellar, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Residence. “We give a big thank you to Debbie Elvidge, her volunteer organizers and all participants for creating such a fun and successful event that we are pleased to add to our calendar of annual community events to benefit the Residence. The first edition of this event is a wonderful way for the community to have recognized our 15th anniversary.”
The Residence was officially opened and accepted its first patient almost exactly 15 years ago, on October 16, 2002.
About the West Island Palliative Care Residence
The West Island Palliative Care Residence is an independent, community-operated facility that is now the largest free-standing palliative care residence in Canada. All services are provided free of charge to terminally ill patients and their families. The Quebec government pays about one-third of the operating budget with the balance, of over $3.5 million per year, raised in the community from events such as the Valentine’s Ball and individual and corporate donations. Recognized across Quebec and Canada for its excellence in palliative care, the facility has welcomed more than 3,700 patients in the final stages of ALS, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as their family members. To learn more, visit PalliativeCareResidence.com.