Why We Run: Fundraising and the Scotiabank Charity Challenge

When you commit to running a race at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend – whether it’s the 5K or the marathon – you know that you are doing something good for yourself. You’re upping your fitness level, improving your cardio, getting more fresh air, making new friends and the list goes on. But, if you really want to make your race mean something you can also fundraise and give back to the community with the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

That’s exactly what Brent Sullivan, coach of the Ottawa Gee-Gees hockey team, committed to when he created the Run Sully Run initiative to raise money for the concussion awareness.

A seasoned hockey player, Brent began to feel the effects of concussions when he was in his early twenties. “I’d had to take a break from sports to recover from the effects of my concussions,” says Brent, “but I used to do 10K races. I used to be a decent runner and I remember the feeling I used to get from it.”

Last spring, Brent was at home during Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend when he saw coverage of the event and wondered why he wasn’t taking part. “I was the heaviest I had ever been and just in overall terrible shape,” he says.

Having recovered from the worst of his brain injuries and looking for a way to get fit, Brent committed to running the half-marathon and created the Run Sully Run campaign, to raise money for the Concussion Legacy Foundation of Canada, as a form of self-accountability.

“I wanted to make my commitment a little bigger,” says Brent. “I wanted to try and help people with my run. I remember the days when I was going through my struggles, and I remember feeling alone and isolated. Knowing that I am out there training and running to raise money and awareness makes it harder for me not to pull through.”

Running for success

When the organizers at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend heard about Brent’s initiative, they invited Run Sully Run and the Concussion Legacy Foundation to join the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

With the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, charities get 100% of the money raised and receive a higher profile. In 2017, the event raised its largest amount to date $846,844, and it has become a fundraising staple for charities across the city, such as Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO)

“We started Run for a New Start in 2016, with 51 OCISO runners and walkers, who raised $12,451—very exciting first year results,” says David Rain. “In 2017, we grew significantly. We had 115 runners and walkers, including two groups of students, one of which was entirely newcomers to Canada. We raised $21,946, and were thrilled to receive the Scotiabank bonus cheque of $1,500 for being tied for third in runner recruitment. This year we’re aiming for $25,000, and hopefully beyond, and our Run for a New Start campaign will be a big part of our organization’s 40th anniversary.”

For Brent and the Concussion Legacy Foundation, David and OCISO, and the over 50 other charities participating, the Scotiabank Charity Challenge is an opportunity for personal and community growth.

Now it’s your turn to help everyone grow. Here are 3 ways that you can give more impact to your ru

  1. Register for Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and run for the charity.
  2. Donate to a participating charity or runner.
  3. Get your office or workplace to register as a team and take part in the Kichesippi Workplace Run-off.