Participants in the 10-kilometre event of the Krista Johnson Memorial Run for Change set out from the starting line along the Kiwanis Way. About 300 runners and walkers took part in the event which raised $19,000 to support youth programming.
Tina Peplinskie / jpg, PM
A mix of new participants and returnees laced up their sneakers earlier this month to raise money to help fund free programs for youth.The seventh annual Krista Johnson Memorial Run for Change raised $19,000 for the Krista Johnson Memorial Foundation, which provides programming for youth through the Elevate Youth and Wellness Centre in Downtown Pembroke.The event is held in memory of Krista, who originally founded the Run for Change nine years ago as a way of raising funds for a local youth group. Then in 2012, her life was tragically cut short when she was hit by a car while cycling in Ottawa. She believed in empowering young girls and encouraging healthy and active lifestyles and offering programs to promote these skills called Live it Up.
Participants in the half marathon of the Krista Johnson Memorial Run for Change set out from Riverside Park.
Tina Peplinskie /
As a way of preserving her daughter’s legacy and continuing her mission, Laurie Johnson has been organizing the event and running the Elevate Youth and Wellness Centre.While she was concerned about the numbers ahead of the event, in true Ottawa Valley fashion, the participants came through at the last minute as about 300 people of all ages took part in the event which featured a half marathon, 10-kilometre, five-kilometre and two-kilometre family run with fit stations.Johnson was also pleased to get back to the original Riverside Park site for the run along the Kiwanis Way near the fitness grove as there were concerns that the spring flooding would move the event closer to the Kiwanis Fieldhouse.“We have lots of kids and a couple of first-time participants in the five and 10-km events so that is encouraging,” Johnson said.She was thankful to local businesses for donating more than 140 items for the silent auction, one of the largest for the event, providing a boost for the fundraising.She noted the centre is a great hub for young people in the community, with the youth enjoying the pieces of fitness equipment available for use and she added the cooking program has really taken off.
Darla LaKing-Brum, 9, does some pullups at the fitness grove near Riverside Park while waiting to take part in the two-kilometre event of the Krista Johnson Memorial Run for Change.
Tina Peplinskie /
Many of the programs offered at the Elevate Centre are for youth aged 11 to 17 so nine-year-old Darla LaKing-Brum is counting down the years until she can take part in the programs. She and her mom Melody LaKing took part in their third two-kilometre run this year.“We really like what Krista stood for – the importance of self-confidence and strong and healthy bodies and that girls rule,” Melody said. “She is really looking forward to taking part in the programs.”While waiting for the run to start, Darla was also checking out the equipment in the fitness grove.For more information about the programs offered at the Elevate Youth and Wellness Centre visit www.elevateyourhealth.ca.TPeplinskie@postmedia.comTwitter.com/TPeplinskie
Anabel Côté-Clemens, 8, tries out a piece of equipment at the fitness grove near Riverside Park during the seventh annual Krista Johnson Memorial Run for Change, held recently.
Tina Peplinskie /