The Wayfinders Wellness Society and the SLS Centre combined forces to once again host a Sweat for a Vet boot camp, Nov. 8, to pay tribute to our veterans while creating awareness and raising funds to help veterans and first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"It means a great deal for me to be part of this organization to contribute back to those who served us," says David Irvine, Wayfinders Wellness Society president. "Now we're serving them by creating this kind of an event for people to come, remember our veterans and Sweat for a Vet, and have some fun today with reverence and a great amount of gratitude."

John Senior, an instructor for CanPraxis who leads peer support for Wayfinders, was one of the guest speakers in the brief opening ceremony. He spoke of his extensive career in the military, the services he provides, and the importance of the day.

"It is very important because it's a fundraising and awareness thing. Nothing runs without money, and nothing runs without awareness, so you have to have those awareness programs and fundraising programs and this is one of the great ones that does this for us."

Wayfinders offers a full array of programs and activities out of their retreat located on a ranch southwest of Cochrane. 

"We have an equine program, we have a bee program, we have a music program, we have an Indigenous presence there," explains Irvine, "so it requires operational funds to do that and we invite people to contribute to our organization." 

READ MORE: Internationally-acclaimed David Irvine new Wayfinders president

A recorded message from Blake Richards, local MP and Conservative shadow minister for Veterans Affairs, was played.

Having recently visited Wayfinders, Richards spoke highly of the help they provide to veterans and first responders.

"It's vital for nonprofits like Wayfinders, who depend on the help of the community to ensure that they are able to offer their programs at no cost to injured responders, veterans, and their families. We thank them for their service and their dedication to this cause."

READ: Richards tours facility, meets Wayfinders officials

The SLS Centre and their staff have thrown their support behind this event from Year One and were out in full force to lead and participate in the boot camp.

sweat group

The entrance of Piper Michael O'Sullivan kicked off the boot camp. He also performed an abridged version of Flowers of the Forest during a moment of silence before the workout began.

piperPiper Michael O'Sullivan
sls atriumWalk a Mile in their Boots in the atrium of the SLDS Centre.

Those who may be unable to attend the boot camp but want to show their support have a chance to "Walk a Mile in their Boots" in the atrium of the SLS Centre until Nov. 13.

The SLS Centre is welcoming anyone in the community to try and “walk a mile” on one of two cardio units in their atrium. If you're looking for a greater challenge, there will be weighted vests and first responder/military helmets available to wear. 

There will also be a challenge available for the centre's younger patrons to complete. 

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