It was a year of overcoming adversity in light of COVID-19 and supporters of The Ottawa Hospital did just that. The annual Run for a Reason fundraising initiative through Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend went virtual and raised $130,000.
Tim Kluke, President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, acknowledged while fundraising was down for the event, the dedication has never been more apparent. “It’s at times like these that I’m reminded how dedicated our community is to ensuring we provide the best caliber of care when our loved ones need it most and that our researchers have the funds needed to advance their research into new discoveries. I’m truly grateful for this support during a challenging time.”
This year, the virtual Run for a Reason attracted 129 participants supporting key areas of The Ottawa Hospital including, cancer research, priority needs, the neonatal intensive care unit to name a few.
Since 1998, Run for a Reason has raised $11.4 million supporting the world-class care and leading-edge research at The Ottawa Hospital. Thanks to its long-standing relationship with Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, the Foundation is looking forward to the 2021 Run for a Reason. Thank you to everyone for your generous support.
I run for my breast cancer patients.
Every day, breast surgical oncologist Dr. Erin Cordeiro meets a new patient facing a cancer diagnosis. She thinks of them as she leaves The Ottawa Hospital’s Rose Ages Breast Health Centre at the end of the day – she often thinks of them as she laces up and heads out for an evening run. Those patients inspire her to fundraise for The Ottawa Hospital at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. They are her reason for running.
Dr. Cordeiro’s practice is exclusive to treating patients with breast disease, primarily breast cancer. This will be her third year participating in Run for a Reason.
“I see patients every day who are going through the challenges of a cancer diagnosis and every day of my life is very humbling. I am very grateful for the health I have and no one should take that for granted. I want to do anything I can to help – that’s why I’m running.”
Dr. Cordeiro first learned about Run for a Reason when she spotted a poster in the hospital three years ago. She knew it was a great fit and registered to support cancer research at The Ottawa Hospital.
“Seeing patients go through a cancer diagnosis or chemotherapy, and the strength that they show in facing the hardest thing they may ever have to face is what really inspires me. No matter how long of a run I have to do, I know it’s nothing compared to what my patients are going through daily, fighting for their lives.”
Research also motivates Dr. Cordeiro, as her work involves studies at The Ottawa Hospital. “My research involves quality improvement initiatives at the Rose Ages Breast Health Centre. We are constantly striving to improve the care we provide to breast health patients. We’re examining quality metrics and programmatic changes to ensure we’re providing the best breast cancer care in the country.”
Since she first registered for Run for a Reason in 2018, Dr. Cordeiro has participated in triathlons and has used the race as a training opportunity. Finding a way to give back to her patients and to attain her athletic goals, The Ottawa Hospital’s Run for a Reason is the perfect fit for Dr. Cordeiro. “I’m really excited and I absolutely love the whole race experience, seeing a large gathering of people purely present to focus on fitness and health is so inspiring”.
I run to stay strong and keep moving.
Four and a half years ago, I was in a really dark place. I was having health issues, which resulted in mobility challenges and I found myself just sitting on the couch, watching the world go by. Then everything changed when I was introduced to the Alinker bike, a walk-assist bicycle, at LiquidGym. I started to use it regularly and I started getting stronger. Then I had a hip surgery and post-surgery I got back on it and continued to get stronger.
The Alinker has been great for my cardiovascular endurance and it’s helped me with my breathing. When you combine those two things, it’s allowed me to get stronger every day. I’ve become active in our community once again—really, I’ve come full circle.
That strength and confidence now allows me to give back. I’ve been cared for by The Ottawa Hospital on several occasions. In fact, I’ve visited every single campus. The hospital has done so much for my family and me. I’ve lost two family members to cancer, but they received wonderful care. For me, it’s a way of saying thank you for the care we’ve received.
Giving back to The Ottawa Hospital is very important to me, and by participating in Run for a Reason, I’m living my life to the fullest.
I run for my daughters’ future.
I’ve been the captain of Team Rob for seven years. The team was formed when my husband, Rob, was diagnosed with cancer and began receiving care at The Ottawa Hospital. When Rob passed away in 2015, we wanted his legacy to continue with Team Rob.
In 2018, the team surpassed a fundraising milestone, raising $20,000 for cancer research at The Ottawa Hospital. Once again, this year, the team will bring together family, friends and colleagues to build hope for the future.
Cancer has taken too much away from my daughters, Charlotte and Lily, and I won’t let it be a part of their future. That’s why the funds we raise support cancer research, to others in the future.
This year, we’re reaching for a new team milestone – $30,000. It’s always special.
I run to help other patients.
In 1996, I was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 46. A year later, I had a bone marrow transplant at The Ottawa Hospital. I remember being told my chance of survival was 40% but my two children, who were young at the time, told me I wouldn’t die because I was ‘too strong’.
Twenty-three years later, here I am still going strong. The care I received from Dr. Lothar Huebsch and his team was excellent—it was incredible. I’ve had other health scares crop up over the years, including a blood clot in my stomach in 2012, which resulted in surgery. Since then, I’ve had some issues with balance, which is why I now use a walker. But I’ve never been willing to let these challenges slow me down.
I’ve always stayed fit—I live for that runner’s high. That’s partly why I do the run. I want to live a full life and I know physical activity is helping me achieve that. I also do the run because of my desire to give back to other patients, in particular through the Little Angels Blood Cancer Fund. This helps ease the financial burden of patients who have to travel a significant distance for their treatment. I know what they go through and I just want to help them in the future.
Once again this year, I’ll be doing another marathon with my walker—I walk fast! It will be my seventh marathon using my walker. I not only want to raise more money to support The Ottawa Hospital but I also want to qualify for the Boston Marathon some day, so that’s motivating me too. My quest is to inspire others to do the same–it doesn’t have to be a marathon but to simply be active and live life to the fullest.
We run for Parkinson’s research
It all started with a group of investment advisors, with a connection with Parkinson’s disease. Twelve years later, PIPR—Partners Investing in Parkinson’s Research—has raised $1.4 million through Run for a Reason at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend.
Once again this year, dozens of people will rally and walk or run in the spirit of supporting the world-class Parkinson’s research happening at The Ottawa Hospital. Karin Fuller, co-captain of team PIPR, says while the purpose is to fundraise—the roots of this group go much deeper. “It was initially looked at as an investment to find a cure. Now, it’s like a second family for many people. It’s like a support system. A group which brings people together to feel supported.”
It’s also very personal for many including Karin, who has watched her dad live with Parkinson’s, which is now quite advanced.
PIPR provides support
PIPR is the definition of a support group for Elaine Goetz, who has been involved for seven years. She has been living with Parkinson’s for 13 years now, and PIPR gives her hope. “I see what research is being done; it’s quite impressive and I’m privileged to be involved with such a great organization,” says Elaine.
She looks forward to the group coming together each year. “When you have a condition like Parkinson’s, it’s so easy to become isolated if you don’t know anyone else who has the disease or you don’t have the support. What PIPR does for me, is it makes me feel a part of a community. It’s important to be involved. It empowers me to live well with Parkinson’s.”
While PIPR is marking a dozen years together, they are always recruiting new people to join. That’s how Kristy Shortall-Cain, co-captain of team PIPR, became involved in the past year. Like many others involved, she has good family friends who have Parkinson’s. It all started when she was invited to a PIPR meeting. “I was just blown away by the people who were around the table, from people with the disease, to family and friends, like me, to doctors, and researchers from The Ottawa Hospital—all with a common goal and everyone is really pumped up about it.”
The group is also motivated by the results they see. Elaine is quick to point out PIPR helped to bring deep brain stimulation surgery (DBS) to The Ottawa Hospital. Karin knows firsthand what that means. “When my dad had that surgery he had to go to Toronto, which meant going back and forth for the appointments. It was a lot for him and for our family. DBS is a tangible example of what we’ve been able to do as a group to support The Ottawa Hospital.”
More than 100,000 Canadians live with Parkinson’s, including 8,000 here in Ottawa. Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects voluntary, controlled movement.
Step 1: Create a list of potential donors
Think of everyone you know who would be happy to support you and create a list – friends, family, co-workers, neighbours, etc.
Step 2: Personalize your approach and make the ask!
Think of the best way to contact every person on your list, whether it’s face to face, through an email, or by writing them a letter, and personalize your approach to every potential donor!
Step 3: Get creative and put the “fun” in fundraising
In addition to your letters and emails, we encourage you to get creative and think of a fun activity or event that you can organize to help reach your fundraising goal! Check out our tips below.
Step 4: Reach out to corporate contacts for large donations
Talk to your business networks and see if any companies would be interested in supporting your team! Check out our adopt-a-runner and adopt-a-team forms. A company can sponsor you or your team in exchange for recognition opportunities through Run for a Reason!
Step 5: Always say thank you!
It is incredibly important to always take the time to say thank you to your supporters, whether it’s through an email, phone call, face to face, or hand written card or letter. They played a big part in your fundraising success!
#1 Send a personalized message
Send out a personal email or letter requesting donations. Don’t be shy – ask your friends, family, neighbours, and professional network. Sample text for emails and letters are included in our Fundraising Toolkit.
#2 Get active on social media
Social media is an excellent way to engage with potential donors and create conversation about Run for a Reason! There are many different social media platforms you can use – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, a blog, etc. This is a great way to share your journey, provide updates on your fundraising, ask for donations, and show your network what Run for a Reason is all about!
Twitter: @OttawaHospital #supportTOH
Instagram: @OttawaHospital #supportTOH
Sample social media posts:
I’m running __km @ottawamarathon to support the future of health care @ottawahospital! supportTOH #RunOttawa2020
Lace up and join me as I Run for a Reason supporting @ottawahospital at @ottawamarthon. Teamwork makes it so much more fun! #supportTOH #RunOttawa2020
I do the run for _____ (my mom, my dad, my neighbour, my best friend) and support @ottawahospital. #supportTOH #RunOttawa2020
- Be sure to add a picture and get more attention on social media!
- Include the link to your fundraising page
- If you are going to walk, simply change Run to Walk in the sample social media
- Share several times on social media. You’ll be amazed by who donate or even joins your team
#3 Personalize your fundraising page
Get creative and have fun! Update your fundraising page on Race Roster to include your picture, why you run and your fundraising goal to support The Ottawa Hospital. Our team is here to help you cross the fundraising finish line, which will help support groundbreaking research at The Ottawa Hospital.
Register your public fundraising event on RunforaReason.ca by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Event Name
- Organizer contact information
- Any other details (cost, what to bring, what to wear, who can take part, etc.)
We’ll be happy to share it on social!
#4 Ask corporate sponsors
Think about your corporate networks and use our personal sponsorship forms to ask for large donations—follow the links below. By Adopting a Team, a company can receive their logo on event signage, mentions on social media, recognition in post-event advertisements, and an invitation to attend the day-of celebrations. A company will also receive some benefits from Adopting an Individual!
#5 Go old school
Create a win-win situation by training and fundraising at the same time! Run or walk door to door throughout your neighbourhood with a stack of pledge forms asking for donations. Fundraising face to face is an effective way of getting people engaged in your cause. Download the Run for a Reason pledge form: English and French. Using your online fundraising page and this pledge form is a great way to combine online fundraising with the traditional kind!
#6 FUNdraising milestones
Another fun way to reach your fundraising goal is to attach your fundraising to major events, celebrations, and holidays. Here are some examples:
- Birthday Celebration – Instead of receiving gifts on your birthday, ask for donations towards your run.
- Wedding or Shower – Leave a donation box on the bar instead of a tip box at your wedding, or as part of your wedding or shower gifts, ask each of your guests to put $5.00 towards your fundraising.
- Garage Sale Season – Get rid of some of those odds and ends sitting around your home during garage sale season as a way to raise money.
- Canada Day – Host a BBQ or make freshly squeezed lemonade during a backyard party and ask for donations in return!
Update your email signature
Let your network know you will Run for a Reason. Add this icon to your email signature.
Recruit team members
Subject: Let’s Run for a Reason, together!
What could be better than running or walking together to change lives and support The Ottawa Hospital? The training is good for our health; as a team, we’ll have fun and we’ll be supporting the most important health care centre in eastern Ontario, The Ottawa Hospital.
It’s win, win, win!
Join me the weekend of May 23 & 24, 2020, as I will be taking part in Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. But I won’t just be crossing the finish line for the fun of it; I’ll also be raising important funds for The Ottawa Hospital and I’d love it if you would join me in the fun!
It’s so easy! We don’t have to take part in the same event and you can run OR walk. We’ll be fundraising together for a cause that’s important to all of us—world-class healthcare for those we love. Then we can celebrate together at The Ottawa Hospital VIP Runner Zone.
After you’ve signed up, you can ask your friends and family to support our fundraising efforts by making a donation to your online fundraising page.
It’s so easy to register! (Share link to your fundraising team page). Visit my team page, click join team, and register through Race Roster! There will be an option to join an existing team during the registration process.
If you’d like more information, contact The Ottawa Hospital Foundation at 613-798-5555, ext. 19832, or by e-mail at email@example.com You can also visit the website at runforareason.ca
Ask People to Sponsor You
Subject: Let’s help change lives!
On May 23-25, 2020, I will Run for a Reason and support The Ottawa Hospital at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. I’ll do the hard work but I need you to donate, to help me raise these vital funds. When I cross the finish line, I’ll be smiling and thinking of you!
Together, we can help change lives! We’ll also be ensuring researchers at The Ottawa Hospital can continue to make advancements in diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and much more.
Donate now! (share the link to your fundraising page)
Send a cheque payable to “The Ottawa Hospital Foundation”. The address is below:
Run for a Reason
c/o The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
737 Parkdale Avenue, 1st floor
Ottawa, ON K1Y 1J8
Make sure you include my name on the envelope, or in the notes section of the cheque. You can also add a note if you choose to have your donation remain anonymous.
If you love to run or walk, you can also join me and raise funds for The Ottawa Hospital, visit runforareason.ca to register!
Your support is tremendous! Thank you!
Thank your sponsors email
Subject: Thank you for donating to my Run for a Reason
You are incredible!
Thank you for supporting my Run for a Reason and The Ottawa Hospital. You are helping to change lives. I couldn’t have done this without you!
Thanks again for your support!
Offer friends, family and/or co-workers a chance to win an assortment of specially selected wines from a number of different wineries. Sell tickets for $5 each or 3 for $10. Display the wines in a common area or share the bounty on social media to entice wine lovers. This is an opportunity to involve local merchants as your campaign donors, too.
Friends, family and/or co-workers might have some hidden talents that could be offered up as a “fantasy” package as an incentive for those in your network to donate. Offers can include gourmet meal preparation or a weekend offer to use someone’s vacation property.
White Elephant Sale
Ask all friends, family and/or co-workers to bring their most interesting—and useless—treasures to your home or office. Auction off to folks using pledge cards. Got an Elvis-on-black-velvet you could donate?
Backyard/Parking Lot BBQ
Determine costs of set-up. Set a sale price for the BBQ. Pre-sell tickets to the event and donate all proceeds to your campaign. The event may also be set up as a potluck picnic with everyone bringing a dish to share. Make sure you have plenty of meat and fixings, buns, drinks, paper products and of course a grill! You may also want to set up a volleyball net, Frisbee and some music to set the mood.
Boss Cooks for You
Have a special breakfast/lunch where executive leadership or managers cook for all donors. Food is one of the best motivational tools to attract a big crowd. Tasty treats almost always bring smiles to those attending your event.
Get a rubber hose, buckets, soap and everything else you’ll need to host an old fashioned car wash. Ask a few friends, family and/or co-workers (maybe even the boss in full suit & tie) to volunteer to scrub down and dry cars until they sparkle. Charge friends, family and/or co-workers $5 to take advantage of the special car wash with all proceeds going to your campaign.
Charge co-workers $5 to wear whatever they’re comfortable in: jeans, tennis shoes, flip flops, sweats, etc. Donate all money to your campaign.
Ask your co-workers cook their favorite chili recipe and enter it into a cook-off contest. Charge a fee to try the chili. A panel of chili experts can select the Official Chili Champion – be sure to offer a prize to the winner.
Ask friends, family and/or co-workers to contribute something special for a raffle prize:
- Homemade pies
- One-day vacation
- Prizes donated by vendors
- Car wash
- Tickets to a special event
Organize a paint night. These evenings out are popular and will not only generate some funds to help you reach your goal but it’s a great way to get to know members of your team, office or spend time with friends.
Try a trivia night at your favourite pub. You can test your knowledge and also raise money for your event. Many of the pubs are packed on trivia nights. Give it a try; you’ll have some fun for a great cause.
Yuk Yuk’s Night
There’s nothing a good laugh can’t help. Try a night out at Yuk Yuk’s to help put your team’s fundraising goal over the limit. More details here.
Transform an office into a jail cell. “Arrest” managers and executives and allow them to make telephone calls to their staff members to “bail” them out. All bail proceeds go to your campaign.
Find a volunteer willing to loan a garage space or use your work site after hours. Two or three weeks before the sale, ask your friends, family and/or co-workers bring in sale items which volunteers price and sell day of event.
Guess How Many
Guess the number of jellybeans, M & Ms, Hershey Kisses or other treat in a jar. Buy chances to guess. Winner with closest guess receives the jar of treats.
Ice Cream Social
Provide several flavors of ice cream and all the toppings needed to make a decadent sundae! Offer hot fudge, caramel, strawberry sauce, chopped nuts and whipped cream – don’t forget the cherries! Charge friends, family and/or co-workers a fee for their decadent creation, with all donations going to your campaign
Lunch Box Auction
Ask your co-workers pack a special, homemade lunch. Encourage them to get creative and make deluxe sandwiches or wraps. Include delicious treats like decadent brownies or monster chocolate chip cookies. Hold an auction before lunch time, allowing co-workers to bid on the fancy fixings.
Set up a relay course for executives to race through sitting in chairs or riding tricycles. Use a stopwatch to time contestants, with the fastest person winning a prize. Observers donate or wager $1 on their favorite contestants.
The department with the best participation (most returned pledge cards) is rewarded with a pizza party, lunch with the CEO or other incentive.
Friends, family and/or co-workers participate in a scavenger hunt that requires them to find unusual items from around the neighborhood or office building, as well as demonstrate community knowledge. You can place items at specific locations for the hunters. Teams of four pay a group entrance fee you set ahead of time. Teams have a set time frame to accumulate as many points as possible. The entire team must be present at the end of the time period. It any member arrives late, assess a penalty of six points per minute, for example.
Talent Show/Lip Sync/Karaoke Contest
Participants pay $2 to enter and are given a list of songs and a pledge sheet in advance. Participants ask friends, family and/or co-workers to support them by pledging an amount of money. At the event, have a big box of funny hats, feather boas and other costume items available for participants to use. Pass the hat at the party to receive even more pledges.
Video Game Contest
Set up several video games in the break room. Co-workers pay to play and try to beat the previous players score. This can take place over several days with many repeat players. Highest score at the end wins a prize. Or you could have tournament play with a game like basketball or baseball and have people compete against each other on the same game and then winners play winners and so on.
Let’s do the run Ottawa!
Thank you for supporting The Ottawa Hospital! We would love to hear from you. If you have questions, or would like to share your successes or concerns, please contact our Run for a Reason team. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have!