Two concurrent events are slated for Nov. 9 to raise funds essential for the continued development of the Wayfinders Wellness Centre.
Both a Sweat for Vets and a March/Walk for Freedom will be held that morning from 9 to 10:30 a.m. A military-style boot camp class will be staged at the indoor turf at the SLS Family Sports Centre. Outside, an outdoor march/walk takes place. Both are open to adults and youth alike.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, there will be room for about 35 people to do the fitness boot camp live. A larger number are able to participate in the outdoor march. Those who can't attend either in-person, but want to participate can also do it remotely.
"We're going to stream it on our website, so people can watch it live, or they can do it remotely wherever they are, whether they want to do the march or the fitness class," explains Paul Wagman, co-founder and president of Wayfinders, who will be leading the boot camp. "The actual class will be available in advance for people who want to do it, and then do it live with us as a fundraiser anywhere."
The outdoor load/non-load bearing march is being led by Bryce Talsma, vice-president of Wayfinders, who was a captain with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. It will start outside the rec centre and follow a route along the Bow River.
Wagman says they have been building support from a number of organizations for what they hope will become an annual fundraiser. Among those showing their support are the Wounded Warriors, King's Own Calgary Regiment, and members of the Royal Canadian Legion.
Donations are being accepted by both participants and supporters of the wellness centre, which offers a safe, peaceful environment for emergency workers, military, and their families dealing with PTSD and trauma.
A ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the centre was held Sept. 26 at its home on the WineGlass Ranch, just southwest of Cochrane. That was the second major event aimed at raising funds but also increasing public awareness of its vision.
There remains much to be completed inside the house to allow it to fully embrace its service mission.
"What we're really focusing on over the next month and a half, two months, is getting some more of the interior work done so we continue to host people," says Wagman, "because that's what we're seeing from our response is people want to come to talk to us, so it's a priority to get it done."
"We've had great support from people to get our outdoor secure and weather-roofed and we're using the place, but we want to get the flooring done, we want to get the paint done, and we plan to basically move room by room."
The wellness centre aims to provide a wide range of services, including equine therapy, meditation, yoga, nutrition, and native healing.
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