Seniors’ Village tenants join Team Perley Rideau
The cancellation of the 2020 edition of Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend won’t deter the newest members of Team Perley Rideau. Marie Gauthier and Susan Davies, seniors who reside in Perley Rideau’s independent-living apartments, are determined to keep fundraising and training for one of the Weekend’s events – the two-kilometre race – with their walking poles. The two will participate in Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend’s virtual event on a yet-to-be-announced date.
“We met at fitness classes both here at Perley Rideau and at the local community centre,” says Marie Gauthier. “And we quickly became good friends.”
“Last year, we went downtown to cheer on Team Perley Rideau at Ottawa Race Weekend,” says Susan Davies. “It looked like a lot of fun and we saw that the Race accommodates people of all abilities, even pole walkers like us. So we decided to sign up and raise money for the Perley Rideau Foundation.”
Each year, Team Perley Rideau – comprised of staff, volunteers and community members – collects pledges to help fund the programs and equipment that support the exceptional quality of life experienced by residents of the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre. Marie and Susan will be the first tenants to join the Team, which has raised more than $60,000 since 2016.
Both Marie and Susan have first-hand knowledge of some of the many programs that money raised for the Foundation has helped support in the past. Marie volunteers with the Veterans’ choir, for instance, and also helps to deliver mail on the Perley Rideau campus. Every Monday morning, Susan indulges her newfound passion for woodworking by participating in a group session at the Therapeutic Recreation and Creative Arts’ studio.
This year, however, things are a little different. Since announcing an outbreak at the Perley Rideau a COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund was established to facilitate the purchase of additional personal protective equipment (PPE), the hiring of additional cleaning and meal helper staff, and recognition opportunities for all staff. Money raised for the Perley Rideau through Ottawa Race Weekend will be used to support this fund, and team members couldn’t be more pleased.
Although not natural fundraisers, Marie and Susan will do their best to gather pledges. “It’s important that I stay active and maintain a positive attitude,” says Susan. “And as the saying goes, ‘teamwork makes the dream work.’”
On March 30th, organizers announced that the COVID pandemic had forced them to replace Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend with a virtual event that allows participants to walk or run on their own. Organizers continue to encourage donors to support charities that benefit from the Weekend, such as the Perley Rideau Foundation.