On a sunny Sunday morning, scores of Edmonton residents congregated, their shared purpose being to support military personnel, veterans, and first responders seeking medical treatment in the city. The gathering, part of the yearly Walk for Valour initiative, was hosted at the scenic Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park. Funds raised during the event would benefit the services offered at Valour Place.
Since its establishment in 2012, Valour Place has served as a haven for Canadian Armed Forces’ members, RCMP personnel, other first responders, and their respective families. Providing them with a comforting residence during their medical treatments in Edmonton.
Sylvie Keane, who heads the nonprofit organization, shared that the facility “relieves a lot of the stress of not knowing where they can stay,” adding, “And having family around helps heal, so it really keeps people together.”
Among those in attendance were Canadian Armed Forces veteran Bill Scott and his wife, Lorraine. Unfortunately, Lorraine was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2020. The couple residing at a distance from the city meant gruelling six-hour journeys or pricey hotel stays for each medical appointment. However, they found respite at Valour Place.
“We knew that we were going to have to be in Edmonton quite a bit and trying to figure out what to do with that, and another good friend of ours learned about Valour Place,” Lorraine explained, describing the facility as a “godsend.”
The Scotts have lodged at Valour Place for more than 45 days, during Lorraine’s treatments. They are among the many who openly appreciate the facility.
Relying solely on private funding, Valour Place uses the annual walk as its primary fundraising platform, aiming to gather $50,000 by September 20th.
“Our catchline is, ‘Register, fundraise and conquer,'” Keane asserted.
Participants had the option to walk or tackle a 2.5 or 5-kilometre route, with stations distributed en route for attendees inclined to challenge themselves with military-related activities.
By the end of the eventful Sunday, an inspiring total of over $36,500 had been amassed.
“Edmonton is a very generous city,” Keane gratefully acknowledged. “These people give so much to protect our cities, our communities and our country. I’m so happy to see others helping them.”
Lorraine is slated to undergo surgery in November. Both Lorraine and Bill look forward to availing the comfort and ease that Valour Place has to offer once more.
“The facility is just absolutely amazing. To just be able to come and rest and not worry about anything,” Lorraine remarked. Echoing his wife’s sentiments, Bill stated, “To have that facility available to so many people is just fantastic.”
While the fundraiser officially concludes on Wednesday, contributions can still be made online, according to Keane. This emphasizes the community’s continual display of generosity and kindness towards those who have selflessly served their country.