Team Honour Ottawa Police Courage – Our Epic Walk Experience
By Cancer Foundation on May 18 / 2017
[Cancer, Cancer Coaching, Caregivers, Clinical Trials, Events, Families, News, Research]
By Sandra McLaren
In 2016, a small group of colleagues got together, led by Director General Debra Frazer, to consider participating in the Epic Walk.
At our very first meeting, we were all immediately struck by the cause: to raise money to help with cancer detection and care right here in our own community. As members of the Ottawa Police, we take pride in giving back to our community and in working together with members of our community to make a positive difference, whether it be improving safety or improving the quality of life for all of us in our great city.
Within our small group, we had all been touched by cancer, directly or indirectly, through family and friends. Our own Ottawa Police family has also been directly touched by cancer, as we have lost several of our colleagues during the past few years.
We knew we had to participate and we knew that we wanted to walk in honour of any Ottawa Police members who had been impacted by cancer. Our name, “Honour Ottawa Police Courage” reflects our tribute to the courage of anyone touched by cancer, in fighting the disease or in supporting those who have had to fight. The words “Honour, Courage, Service” represent that values of the Ottawa Police.
So we registered and began looking at fundraising ideas and started a walking group to practice for the event. We had 5 team members registered and our goal was to raise $5,000. We had several ideas to fundraise to enable all members of the OPS to contribute, but our timelines were tight and these ideas were deferred.
Instead, we took the recommendation from the Epic Walk fundraising web page and just talked to and emailed friends and family about the walk. None of our team are expert fundraisers and we all realize that there are many demands on donation dollars. In our own organization, members contribute to a wide variety of initiatives every day. So our approach with contributors was to let them know of our efforts and about the cause, and that any donation was welcome.
We were amazed at people’s connection with the cause, as those we reached out to had all been touched by cancer and wanted to help. A key feature of this fundraiser that struck our contributors was that the money stayed in our community and the results were tangible: cancer coaching and other services at the Cancer Foundation’s Maplesoft Centre, as well as equipment for the Queensway Carleton Hospital to help diagnose cancer earlier. Another key piece was the experience that people had already had with the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, and cancer care in general in Ottawa.
Anyone we spoke to quickly offered to donate and in a matter of a few weeks, our fundraising page read $8,500. We had surpassed our goal!!
As we approached event day, we were a little nervous about walking the 28km distance, and whether we had practiced enough. We also had to draw upon some substitute walkers the week before the event. So, we had a mix of practiced and un-practiced walkers. But the event was structured so well – there were copious rest stations, a wonderful sit down lunch and the walk itself was something that could be enjoyed by those well practiced, or those joining at the last minute. We were impressed.
We will be participating again in 2017 and we are excited to include more members in the fundraising activities and the walk.
I hope our experience helps anyone else who is thinking about participating in the Epic Walk fundraiser. It is an amazing event and a great way to contribute to our community.
On behalf of the Ottawa community, THANK YOU to the Ottawa Police for everything you do to create a safe and healthy community.
Team Honour Ottawa Police Courage will be walking again on September 16, 2017. You can join them by registering yourself or your team on the Epic Walk event page.
To support Team Honour Ottawa Police Courage, please click here to visit their team page.
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