Father’s Day walk/run raised money for Rotary Club

Best Body Fitness held its third annual Father’s Day walk/run last Saturday, raising over $1,340 for the Rotary Club of Sylvan Lake.

Those registered got ready to begin the track. The walk/run was a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Sylvan Lake

Those registered got ready to begin the track. The walk/run was a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Sylvan Lake

Best Body Fitness held its third annual Father’s Day walk/run last Saturday, raising over $1,340 for the Rotary Club of Sylvan Lake.

This is the first year the event’s fundraising will support the Rotary Club, which will use the funds to purchase wheelchairs for residents of Huatulco, Mexico. Sylvan Lake Optimist Club was the beneficiary of funds raised in previous years.

Scott McDermott, the gym’s owner and a personal trainer, has been a member of the Rotary Club of Sylvan Lake for 10 years, and is a past president. He cited this as the reason he chose to donate the funds to the Rotary Club, in addition to it being a good cause.

Rotary clubs of Central Alberta are aiming to raise $42,000 to purchase 280 wheelchairs for their trip to Huatulco in 2013. The Sylvan Lake club has raised about $14,000 toward that so far, said McDermott.

Participants paid a $35 registration fee, and could choose between walking or running two, five, or 10 kilometres. Everyone received a Father’s Day gift of either a toiletries bag or a deck of cards, both with a custom logo. Children received Tim Hortons merchandise.

McDermott has a seven-week-old son, and because of this, the Father’s Day walk/run was especially important to him this year.

“I did not want this event to not happen,” he said.

Bonnie Ganske is a member of the Rotary Club of Sylvan Lake, and lived in Huatulco for six months working with the Rotary Club there. She said the community is excited because the Rotary Club is working with local family social services, and with several organizations that work with disabled children who would otherwise have no way to provide for their needs.

“The people of the area are very poor,” said Ganske. She added that they are also subsistent on the land, and during the dry season water is at a premium because there is no rain.

Huatulco is located in the state of Oaxaca, and is a newer resort area. Ganske said tourism in the region has provided employment to residents, but has not helped with the poverty there. The Rotary Club of Sylvan Lake will also give a scholarship to a student from the region, many of whom Ganske said are unable to continue their studies.