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Over $6000 Raised Despite Cancelled Run

Despite the cancellation of the annual “Campus Run” fundraiser, organizers were still able to raise over $6000 in donations, the highest amount of any year prior. The Campus Run is a five-kilometre race around the Ontario Tech and Durham College Campuses, proceeds of which support the Boys and Girls Club of Durham Youth Programs throughout the Durham Region. What would have been the event’s 12th instalment was cancelled due to restrictions on mass gatherings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Carla Cesaroni, Associate Professor in Criminology at Ontario Tech University has been organizing the event since its start and was saddened when she heard of its cancellation.

“When I understood that the run would not operate this year, it was very disappointing given that this was our 12th year,” says Dr. Cesaroni. “The run always has such great energy about it—it brings together people from all walks of life across both campuses, Durham College and Ontario Tech and all of the staff from our community partner the Boys and Girls Club of Durham.”

Knowing this would likely not be the only fundraising event that the Boys and Girls Club would rely on, Dr. Cesaroni took it upon herself to fundraise despite the cancellation. She reached out to those who have participated in past runs and was humbled by how much they were willing to give in the face of the challenges presented by the pandemic. 

“It is quite inspiring to realize that regardless of the situation we now all find ourselves in, people are still willing to think of high-risk youth and their needs,” says Dr. Cesaroni.

Jill Dallaire, Youth Justice Services Director at the Boys and Girls Club says the amount raised could not have come at a better time. According to Dallaire, food security has been the greatest challenge faced lately. The funds raised have allowed the Boys and Girls club to purchase grocery cards to help the youth impacted.

“We work with a vulnerable population of youth in the community and given the current situation, the funds raised have helped us support them over the last couple of weeks in ways that we would have otherwise not been able to,” says Dallaire. “Thank you to everyone who donated and to Dr. Cesaroni who works hard to make this fundraiser happen every year. We feel so fortunate to have your support and our youth do too.”