Community rallies behind virtual fundraiser supporting Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital’s youngest patients

4th Annual Charlee's Run raises over 35 grand

A global pandemic didn’t slow down an annual effort to raise funds for Orillia’s hospital.

Instead of cancelling it outright, organizers of the 4th annual Charlee’s Run switched gears to a virtual event instead. The event went on to raise $35,500 in memory of a young girl who only spent a day with us. Charlee Clare Holmes was born and died the same day, April 29, 2011. Her parents, Dave and Mallory, went on to establish the run in her memory, with proceeds being directed to support paediatric and neonatal needs at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.

“We are completely overwhelmed by the support our community has shown this year,” said Mallory. “We couldn’t have imagined that we would be able to come together like this—in the wake of a global pandemic without physically being present at an actual run—to raise awareness for pregnancy and infant loss in memory of our daughter Charlee and the lost little ones of many participants. To have the success of raising $35,500—we are truly blown away.”

“When Mallory and Dave were faced with the dilemma of changing the format of the run this year, we couldn’t have predicted this outcome,” said Lisa Wanamaker, OSMH Foundation Development Officer. “The Charlee’s Run community fully embraced the virtual run despite the snow, the distance and the fear of COVID-19 to raise an astounding amount of money for our paediatric needs. We owe a big thank you to Dave and Mallory, their sponsors and everyone who participated this year for the huge success of this virtual event.”

Since 2016, Charlee’s Run has raised $186,500 for paediatric and neonatal needs at Soldiers’. These funds have helped purchase a Bereavement Cart for the Obstetrics Floor, a Central Patient Monitoring System for the Paediatric Unit and an Operating Room Birthing Table for emergency and high-risk deliveries.

Feature image courtesy Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital. Charlee’s parents Dave and Mallory Holmes and her brothers Mackenzie and Keenan backed by the entire Soldiers’ paediatrics team present a cheque for $35,500 to the OSMH Foundation in support of neonatal and paediatric needs at Soldiers’.