Team Perley Rideau is going the distance

Team Perley Rideau is mightier than ever and ready to go in the 2021 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. “It has been a challenging year for residents and staff, it feels good to see the team come together like this,” Maureen Forrester, Development Coordinator and Team Perley Rideau walker shared. “The team includes staff, volunteers, donors, and community members. Our goal was to recruit 50 team members and we’ve doubled that with over 100 supporters lacing up to join us.”

The Perley Rideau Foundation is fostering a collective team spirit of caring and compassion in person and virtually. This year to create a virtual connection they have: created a Spotify playlist, hosted a drop-in speaker series on zoom with tips and tricks for training and fundraising, sent regular motivational emails, created a toolkit full of resources for achieving goals, and spotlighted team members by sharing their WHY. Telling stories of residents, staff, and volunteers helps people connect with the value of the Foundation and the importance of caring for Seniors and Veterans. 

Runners and walkers range from all levels of ability and age, some are doing the Ottawa 2K family walk, and some are running the new Ottawa 50K. The fundraising goal was initially set at $40,000 but has since increased when the team blew past it on April 30th with over a month to continue fundraising for the event. 

“It is the generosity of donors that enables exceptional care above the funding Perley Rideau receives from the Ministry. This allows us to renovate rooms, purchase vital medical equipment, and provide quality Therapeutic Recreation and Creative Arts programs. The $18,000 raised last year through Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend helped provide the exceptional care we are known for in a very challenging context. The money supported the COVID-19 Emergency Fund which purchased essential personal protective equipment (PPE) and helped ease the isolation caused by lockdowns.”

According to Forrester, 96% of residents are fully vaccinated and 86% of staff have received at least one dose of the vaccine. “COVID-19 demonstrated the importance of access to family, therapeutic recreation and creative arts to the well-being of residents. Through the past year, we adapted, doing outdoor family visits, offering programs one-on-one, and showing residents how to use iPads for virtual calls. Now with the vaccine, our art studio is open for small classes and it is so nice to see residents together again.” 

“It is powerful to be in the home and see people connecting after such a long time.” Maureen Forrester told Run Ottawa. “The camaraderie missed over this past year is back through events like Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and Team Perley Rideau. Many of the staff here work shifts throughout the day, so a virtual race allows flexibility for more participants to run or walk and fundraise with us.” 

The team can access a fundraising toolkit on the Foundation website, get connected actively on social and through email, and even earn prizes for reaching fundraising milestones. 

Ashley Innes, one of the youngest members of Team Perley Rideau, and daughter of communications manager Jay Innes, is walking her first 10K this year. 

“I have been a dedicated volunteer at the Perley Rideau since Grade 9 when I visited during Take Your Kid to Work Day. Now 21 years old and in my high school graduating year, I look forward to portering residents, welcoming residents and volunteers during Roman Catholic Mass, assisting with Bingo, providing support in the arts and craft studios and helping to set up for lunch. Although COVID-19 has suspended my volunteering duties, training for the 10km walk will help make sure I am as fit as a fiddle and ready to follow all safety protocols when I return to see my friends at Perley Rideau. Walking has also helped with my independence and I enjoy visiting with neighbours while joined by Copper, our Golden Doodle.”

Lt.-Gen. Guy Thibault (Ret’d) is a member of the Perley Rideau Foundation’s campaign cabinet and currently training for the half marathon in this year’s race. He has raised an impressive $1,650.00 so far for the team and will be joined by his wife Bev for her own 10km run.

“Over my 38 years with Bev, we have always pursued physical and mental health. We share an immense sense of gratitude for life’s blessings: we have our health, each other and live in an amazing community. We’re also grateful for the opportunity to run alongside the Perley and Rideau Veteran’s Health Centre team and plan to train diligently until the Ottawa Race Weekend in May. Being part of Team Perley Rideau has not only afforded us a fun way to stay fit but has also given us a much-appreciated opportunity to raise a few funds and show our appreciation for Canada’s Veterans and the volunteers who now serve on their behalf.  We are so proud to be “Answering the Call.”   We both pledge to do our best to raise the profile of the Perley and Rideau Veteran’s Health Centre and celebrate the incredible job its staff does every day in caring for those who call the Perley Rideau home.“

Team Perley Rideau welcomes new team members!, Follow #TeamPerleyRideau and visit their team page today.