UPDATE: To clarify, participants 14 to 17 years of age do not have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian as stated in the article – participants 14 to 17 must have a legal parent or guardian sign the confirmation and liability waiver to participate.
Waning interest in the United Way’s annual campaign kickoff meant fewer donor dollars raised for the Greater Trail community in 2014.
With a goal to invigorate the cause and up charitable donations, this year the Trail and district organization is stepping into new territory with a race through the streets and staircases on the west side of town.
“People lose interest when you do the same thing year after year,” said Executive Director Naomi McKimmie, referring to the United Way Day’s six-year Gyro Park event. “We want to engage not only the people that were coming to United Way Day in the Park but also the ones who weren’t, which is the age 20 to 35 demographic,” she added. “As well as the individuals who like to go out hiking and walking and spend time outdoors on the weekend.”
Storm the Stairs is set for Sept. 12 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Piazza Colombo.
Registration is now open for the fundraising challenge, which is to climb 1501 stairs and walk, run or gasp your way through four kilometres in West Trail before heading back down to Rossland Ave.
Anyone 18 years and up can join, though youth from 14 to 17 years may participate if accompanied by a legal parent or guardian.
“It’s open to anybody in the community within six hours who wants to come and participate in a showcase of our stairs and our community,” said McKimmie. “It supports healthy living and being outdoors so the event hits all the marks. We believe it will not only be good for us and the member agencies we support through donor dollars, but it’s good for the community.”
The run is an individual challenge with no first, second or third place ribbons, but there will be awards for the top three fundraisers.
“We thought of using the stairs because if the weather is a little inclimate, they are covered so avid walkers and runners are still likely to participate,” explained McKimmie.
“And it’s a way for us to get the younger demographic engaged.”
While race participants are stepping up, a block party will be warming up the Rossland Ave locale starting with live music at 11 a.m.
Two food vendors will be on site adding to the United Way’s $5 barbeque lunch, and children’s activities will run throughout the day.
“This is something we’ll be able to build on the next few years,” said McKimmie. “And hopefully it will increase not only the Trail and District United Way but increase the community profile in the province, southern Alberta and even the states.”
To register visit traildistrictunitedway.com and click on the Storm the Stairs link. From that point, users will be directed to the fundraising site, yodel.org. and the event register link. Fee to enter Storm the Stairs is $50.