Record-Breaking Charlee’s Run Event Raises $150,000 for OSMH
'The fact that we had over 1000 people attend this year is absolutely incredible'
News release – Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital
This year’s Charlee’s Run 5K run/walk, presented by Subaru of Orillia, was the most successful event yet- raising over $150,000 for paediatric and neonatal needs at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH).
On Saturday, May 6, over 1000 people came out to Tudhope Park to help break the silence surrounding pregnancy and infant loss. The event had fun for the whole family with live music, face painting, Charlee’s Run branded merchandise, memorial keepsakes, refreshments, and most importantly, a village of support for those in need.
“We expected 50 people to join us at the first Charlee’s Run and were so moved when more than 300 people came out to show their support,” said Dave Holmes, event founder and father of Charlee Clare Holmes. “The fact that we had over 1000 people attend this year is absolutely incredible.”
Charlee’s Run is named in honour of Charlee Clare Holmes, who passed away in 2011 only a few hours after birth. Her parents, Dave and Mallory Holmes, started the run as a way to raise awareness and end the silence surrounding pregnancy and infant loss.
“We struggled in silence for a long time, there were endless nights crying on the kitchen floor and struggling to find a way through,” Dave Holmes said. “Eventually we found a group of parents that had lost a piece of their hearts as well and it was here that we found the strength, the comfort, and, above all, hope.”
Each year, the community around Charlee’s Run, known as “Charlee’s Village”, continues to grow.
“Losing a baby is something we wish no one had to deal with,” said Mallory Holmes, event founder and mother of Charlee Clare Holmes. “Charlee’s Run has reminded so many people that they are not alone in their suffering. No one should have to cry on the kitchen floor alone.”
Through seven successful events, Charlee’s Run has raised more than half a million dollars for OSMH. The donations have been used to purchase crucial equipment for the OSMH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), obstetrics, and paediatric departments, as well as stocking the dedicated bereavement cart to support patients experiencing a pregnancy or infant loss.
Due to the success of this year’s Charlee’s Run, OSMH will be able to purchase two new Giraffe Warmers for the NICU. Giraffe Warmers are the beds used in the NICU to keep OSMH’s smallest patients warm and provide easy access for medical professionals to provide the care needed.
“Charlee’s Run continues to be a day to remember the lives lost far too soon and a day to remember that no one is alone in their suffering,” said Carmine Stumpo, President and CEO of OSMH. “Our hospital team members, many of whom participate in Charlee’s Run, are so grateful for the support they receive from Charlee’s Village.”
This year’s success would not have been possible without the support from participants, donors, sponsors, and volunteers. The OSMH Foundation will be celebrating those who went above and beyond with their fundraising initiatives by handing out awards to the top individuals and top teams.
Congratulations to the Charlee’s Run top individual fundraisers: Jen French, Kara Greene, and Heather Murphy. The top fundraising teams were Ripple of Kindness Orillia, OSMH Regional Women & Children’s Team, and Jensen’s Joggers.
For more information about Charlee’s Run, visit CharleesRun.com.
About Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Foundation
The Soldiers’ Foundation is a proud partner of Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital and the communities it serves. The Foundation fundraises to purchase medical equipment, sustain programs and assist the Hospital in maintaining its position as a leader in providing quality community-based healthcare. Our office is located at 146 Mississaga St. West, Orillia, Ontario, L3V 3B3 and open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday-Friday.
Banner image via Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital