Aiden speaking before the race

On Sunday, September 3rd over 120 runners/walkers, over 35 volunteers, and many spectators joined us in Bayfield to support Aiden, a 14-year-old boy from Middlesex County who has a cardiac condition. Aiden is a Wish Child with Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario whose wish the be the Prime Minister of Canada! Donations are still coming in, so we do not have a final total yet, but we are confident that the amount raised will be more than enough to make his wish come true, and maybe even contribute to the Wish of another deserving child as well. 

Before the runners and walkers lined up at the start line, we gathered round to present Aiden with a Run4Kids t-shirt signed by Justin Trudeau (note it hanging over his shoulder in the photos). Emily Santos, Run4Kids Race Director, visited Goderich on August 25th (where Justin Trudeau was visiting) to see if she could meet the Prime Minister to tell him about Aiden, and this is exactly what happened! She asked him to sign her shirt, and we turned it over to Aiden on Sunday morning. Needless to say, Aiden was thrilled! The crowd then listened to Aiden speak about his journey through surgeries and how much the Run4Kids event and Make-A-Wish means to him. It was inspiring for his listeners to hear him speak of his challenges and to have him do so in such a hopeful way! At the race’s start, Aiden rang the bell on the top balcony of Virtual High School. 

5…4…3…2…1…DING! DING!

Aiden ringing the bell to start the race!

It was an honour to have Aiden present, to see his excitement about the event, and to hear about his Wish. We also had Reiko, the Wish Child we supported in 2015, share his Wish trip story with us. It was wonderful to have both Aiden and Reiko present!

The fastest time this year was Simon Meades of Bayfield who finished in 19:07.

We would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone who supported the event — whether it be by volunteering, donating, sponsoring, promoting, or simply sending their best wishes — we thank you:

  • Our sponsors:
  • All of our raffle prize donors: The Docks Bar and Restaurant, Purple Peony, Jerry Rader’s Market, Finchers, Fit Body Bootcamp, MCF Crossfit, Huron Ridge Acres, the YMCA, Town & Country Bowling Lanes, Leslie’s, Nabit, Boston Pizza, Canadian Tire
  • Sponsors of snacks & beverages for participants & volunteers:
    • The Pink Flamingo Bakery for donating many delicious treats
    • Shopbike Coffee for once again donating their delicious coffee
    • Highway Robbery for donating sandwiches
    • Foodland for donating fruit
    • Fairholme Dairy of Clinton for donating chocolate milk
    • The Bayfield Breeze for the popcorn machine
  • Bill Strong of Ben Lobb’s Goderich Constituency Office for MCing the evnet
  • Bluewater Sanitation for donating the portable sink 
  • Exeter-Times Advocate, the Focus, and the Bayfield Breeze for featuring a story about the run
  • Nicole Rogers for leading our warm up
  • Mayor Tyler Hessel for keeping our runners on track
  • Scotiabank Goderich and Foodland Bayfield for hosting BBQs in support of this event
  • And, of course, all of our volunteers, donors, and participants!

Thank you to EVERYONE who made this possible! This is a huge community effort, and we are happy that we’ve been able to help make Aiden’s Wish come true. We will provide an update on our fundraising results once we have tallied all of the donations. 

Until next year, THANK YOU!

Click here to view the photos from the day.


UPDATE (October 26, 2017): Representatives from Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario came to our office in Bayfield for the final cheque presentation on October 25, 2017. The total raised from the Run4Kids 2017 event was $9308. We are thrilled to be able to make this donation to such a wonderful organization. 

Thank you to the Optimist Club of Bayfield, our sponsors, the community, our staff, participants, donors, and all of our other supporters. None of this would have been possible without such an incredible community effort. We are excited to hear about Aiden’s Wish Trip!

Left to right: Carley Andison (Make-A-Wish SWO), Charlene Marsman (Make-A-Wish SWO), Jackie Loebach (VHS), Laura Mathonia (VHS), Emily Santos (VHS), Darby Sinnett (VHS), and Denis Lalonde (VHS).