It was something you don't see every day. Elementary-aged rugby players, high school coaches, university players, adult touch and XVs players, O40 players, referees, and general rugby enthusiasts all coming together for a common cause. The result? More than $14,000 donated by rugby to the Sindi Hawkins House in support of local cancer services.
The 80 Minutes fund-raiser was an idea that was presented by Cam Pierce to the Central Okanagan Rugby Enthusiast's Board. The idea was to invite all of our rugby community to come together, collect pledges, and walk or run on the Apple Bowl track for the duration of an adult rugby XVs game - 80 minutes.
The event happened Sunday, Sept. 23rd at 10:00 AM. Here are some interesting facts from the morning.
- $14,050 was raised through sponsors of the individuals who walked/ran for 80 Minutes on Sunday. At the 80 Minutes event, $11K was announced as the total we had raised. However, the giving continued!
- 85 people walked and earned donations to the Cancer Foundation. 82 in Kelowna, 2 in France, and 1 in Cawston.
- 120+ local rugby enthusiasts sponsored someone for the event.
- The highest number of laps was 34 (8.5 miles), achieved by Hudson, an elementary participant.
- Kevin Low ($1,610), Susan Pierce ($1,240) and Peter Rochfort ($1,000) gathered the most sponsorship support.
- There were 26 players from UBC Okanagan Heat Rugby participating in the event, more than any other team.
- The Vernon Jackals travelled the farthest to participate - sending many players from their Okanagan championship team.
- Bones Boshoff volunteered to participate and be the medical support - luckily we did not have to call on his services!
- Four local rugby groups raised more than $1,000 - Kelowna Crows, Summer Touch Rugby, Priest Valley Vicars, and CORE.
- Susan Pierce spoke to participants about the excellent support she received at the Sindi Hawkins House.
- A moment of silence recognized the death of Vicar Steve Nichols, who died of cancer this weekend.
- The Rugby Shop donated $500 worth of sports merchandise as prizes after the event.
- The Train Station Pub donated gift certificates that were raffled to the participants.
- The BC Cancer Foundation provided some post-event juice and snacks.
- Even the weather contributed - it was a perfect temperature and a beautiful day for walking the track.
It is amazing what we can do when we work as one. We are very proud of our rugby community this weekend. You can see photos of the 80 Minutes fund-raiser here on Facebook.