KANATA – The second annual Canadian Walk for Veterans (CWFV) will be held in 10 cities across Canada on Saturday, Oct. 19.
Created in 2018, it is an initiative created by Canada’s veterans for Canada’s veterans. This year, the three to five-kilometre walk is being held to recognize the contributions, challenges and sacrifices made by all veterans and first responders and their families: military, police, fire fighters, emergency health service providers etc.
“The theme of this year’s walk is suicide prevention, recognizing that many of our veterans and first responders who are always there to help us sometimes need help themselves,” organizer and Carp resident Jill Greenwood said. “Their time in service protecting our freedom and way of life exposes them to traumatic events and many suffer from debilitating PTSD that can lead to thoughts of suicide.”
The Canadian Walk for Veterans is an opportunity for Canadians to walk shoulder-to-shoulder, hear their stories and show them we care. Every person who attends the CWFV will receive a challenge coin that lets them, their families and friends know help is available and where to find it. The coin is imprinted with 1-800 suicide prevention hotline numbers and the following message of hope: “One day your story of perseverance will be someone else’s survival guide.”
“I am a Canadian Forces veteran,” Greenwood told West Carleton Online. “My husband Brian, also a veteran, and I are the team leads for the Ottawa location of the 2019 Canadian Walk for Veterans, being held at Walter Baker Park in Kanata (100 Charlie Rogers Pl.) this Saturday. I am also a veterans’ advocate. We got involved in this in 2018 when we were approached by a co-founder in BC last year who needed volunteers for Ottawa. Little did we know that we would be organizing the entire event, but it was very successful – we had 150 participants and we raised more than $15,000 over seven locations. This year we have 10 locations and are excited about the program we have to offer.”
Eighty percent of this year’s CWFV net proceeds will be donated to four organizations which are working hard to provide veterans and first responders with support, rehabilitation services and the tools they need to cope. The remaining twenty percent will be retained to cover administrative costs such as website maintenance etc. Most importantly these organizations provide hope and bring a sense of purpose back into their lives.
- Rally Point Retreat – Sable River, Nova Scotia – www.rallypointretreat.org
- Sheepdog Lodge – Canmore, Alberta – www.sheepdoglodge
- Camp My Way – Seton Portage, British Columbia – www.campmyway.com
- Honour House Society – New Westminster, British Columbia – www.honourhouse.ca
“Our official program includes a planting ceremony of the Liberation75 tulip and also a presentation of Quilts of Valour to three eligible veterans,” Greenwood said. “We will have a variety of displays, special guests, music, etc. Our walk is three km. Doors open at noon with the walk commencing at 2 p.m. The official program should be complete by 3:30 p.m.
Registration details for the Canadian Walk for Veterans are at www.canadianwalkforveterans.com
Registration fee is $25.