VJH Foundation Invites Families To Help Fight Prostate Cancer This Father’s Day
While many Vernon residents will be celebrating Father’s Day with traditional ties and watches, many others will be tying running shoes and watching the race clock while taking part in another North Okanagan tradition. Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation’s 15thAnnual ‘Do It For Dad Run & Walk’, presented by Interior Savings takes place June 15that Coldstream Ranch.
“More than 350 people come out faithfully each year to honour the fathers and men in their lives by raising funds to fight prostate cancer right here in our community,” says Sue Beaudry, Director of Development for Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation.
Like the origins of Father’s Day, ‘Do It For Dad’ was established as a tribute to fathers. The event was founded in 1999 by then-MLA, Dr. April Sanders, who wanted to raise community awareness of prostate cancer and the need for early diagnosis and treatment.
“‘Do It for Dad’ is a tribute to my stepdad and his quiet, solitary struggle with prostate cancer,” says Sanders.
Throughout his battle with the disease, Sanders says she was taught the importance of early diagnosis, the need for increased prostate cancer awareness, the benefit of peer support groups and that the system was not perfect.
“‘Do It for Dad’ tries to implement these lessons on behalf of all of the men in our community. When their lives are touched by prostate cancer, we do not want them to carry that burden alone,” she says.
Dr. Sanders remains committed and involved with the planning of ‘Do It For Dad’ and is the Honorary Chair of this year’s event.
While the event is community-oriented, featuring family-friendly activities such as face-painting, the Kalamalka Caring Klowns, and the Kalamalka Pipe Band, there is also a competitive spirit involved, with prizes awarded to the top three men’s and women’s finishers, as well as the top team and individual fundraisers for the event. Local businesses have also generously donated prizes for our draws for dads, race participants and volunteers.
“Even though the reason for the event is serious, there is a festive atmosphere as we celebrate our victories and keep up the fight against prostate cancer,” says Beaudry.
‘Do It For Dad’ is the only event that Coldstream Ranch has open to the public.
“We’re very grateful to Coldstream Ranch for their ongoing support as the venue for the event. Experiencing the beauty of the ranch, spending time with family and friends, and doing something meaningful for the community makes for a great Father’s Day,” says Beaudry.
As this year marks the 15th anniversary of the event, VJH Foundation asked Lyle Doucette from Electric Paper Company to create a commemorative logo to capture the spirit of ‘Do It For Dad.’
“I was honored to be asked do this,” says Doucette. “Since it had a lot of meaning for me, it was very easy to work on.”
The design features a father and two young children participating in the event wearing matching ‘Do It For Dad’ T-shirts.
“Being from a close-knit family, I wanted to bring in the good memories and feelings when my sister and I were young, and the pride we had in our dad and our family,” says Doucette.
Everyone who registers for the event will receive a T-shirt featuring the new design, while quantities last.
Funds raised will support prostate cancer treatment and awareness in the North Okanagan, including a new piece of equipment, a semi-rigid ureteroscope, which is noted as a least trauma-inducing scope for urologists to treat prostate patients at VJH.
“We are excited to help bring this new technology to our hospital to benefit men in the North Okanagan,” says Beaudry.
One in seven men will be affected by prostate cancer and 65,000 will die from it each year. Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of death from cancer for Canadian men.
‘Do It For Dad’ takes place Sunday, June 15th at Coldstream Ranch. Registration opens at 8:30 am and the walk & run starts at 9:30. Registration is $10 for youths and $20 for adults. Participants who raise $50 or more in pledges will have their registration fee waived. Pledges and donations can be made online at www.vjhfoundation.org/events/do-it-for-dad.