Comox Valley residents can help out the Comox Valley Food Bank later this month by running, skipping or Nordic walking.
The first-ever Nordic Walk/Run/Skip fundraiser for the Comox Valley Food Bank will be held Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Courtenay Airpark. Samudra Weight Loss Health & Wellness owner Kristin Bjarnason, who is also a certified yoga/meditation teacher, is organizing the event. Though she hopes it may generate interest in Nordic walking as an activity, Bjarnason stresses everyone is welcome to participate.
“I did want to kind of showcase Nordic walking just to show people it’s around, but I did also want to make sure everybody felt included,” she says. “So, it’s for everybody, and the food bank is for everybody — I mean, families, children, single people, young people, old people, are all using the food bank…that’s for everyone and this (event) is for everyone.”
Participants will meet at the Airpark entrance on 21st Street. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and the Nordic walk/run/skip will start at 10 a.m. Participants can also pre-register at Samudra Weight Loss Studio at 2-625 Cliffe Ave., (which also has an entrance on Sixth Street near Cliffe). Adults can register for $10, low income persons for $2 and kids are free.
The event will feature live entertainment by local group Nick Sullivan & Friends, refreshments, Nordic walking sticks to try out, lots of door prizes and some kids activities.
Bjarnason is looking for volunteers to help with things like putting posters up around the Valley and activities on the day of, like kids face painting. Anyone interested can give her a call at 250-871-7006.
Bjarnason is also looking for door prize donations, and any interested businesses can contact her.
For those who have never tried Nordic walking but would like to, Bjarnason says she will host a few Nordic walking classes before the event so they learning the basics beforehand. Bjarnason will supply some Nordic poles and she says the groups will be small. Those interested are encouraged to give her a call.
Bjarnason stresses anyone can do Nordic walking, noting the health benefits are significant, and the activity is especially good for people who can’t run due to lower back, hip or knee issues. She adds Nordic walking is 40 per cent more of a workout than simply walking and it creates upper body strength.
Bjarnason used to organize similar events during Mental Health Week years ago when she was working as a registered nurse, but now that she’s owned her business for three years, she decided she would hold an event to help the food bank.
“I wanted to do something to give back to the community and my heart was kind of in the food bank,” she says. “A lot of my clients that I worked with before used the food bank and then, just my product’s about food and healthy eating and healthiness, so I think the food bank plays a big part in that.
“They do say that most people are two pay cheques away from needing to have services like the food bank, so we’re all vulnerable, and for me, it’s just been a charity that I like to donate to.”
Participants are asked to bring a non-perishable item for the food bank. Cash donations for the food bank are also appreciated, and Bjanason notes the food bank offers tax receipts for any donations over $5. The event will wrap up around 12:30 p.m.
For more information, call Kristin Bjarnason at 250-871-7006 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.