The Envision Run For Mom has become a family affair for Lisa Boyes.
Not only does she serve on the run’s organizing committee, her mother-in-law, father-in-law, husband and son also volunteer at the event, which raises money for services for women and children at Chilliwack General Hospital.
“I think it’s important that we support the local community and the hospital,” says Lisa, who works as a commercial accounts manager for small business at the Chilliwack Branch of Envision Financial.
The run, now in its 14th year, has raised nearly a quarter-million dollars for medical equipment at CGH.
It’s organized through the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation and supported by more than 60 volunteers, who do everything from process registrations, to staff water stations along the route.
Lisa has sat on the organizing committee for about seven years. The committee begins meeting early in the new year, soliciting donations, securing sponsors and recruiting volunteers.
Part of the organizing process involves determining the medical equipment that the funds raised from the run will purchase – a decision that’s based on recommendations from Chilliwack General. Over the years Run for Mom has purchased enough equipment to fill a room. Last year the event paid for a high-end fetal monitor that provides better data for the medical staff and more mobility for the mother.
This year organizers hope to buy a specialized delivery and recovery bed.
Reviewing the list of equipment the run has helped purchase is something Al and Carol Boyes, Lisa’s in-laws, feel good about. Their involvement with Chilliwack General Hospital goes back years, beginning with the Hospital Service League. They were involved with the first runs, and today help deliver the flowers that are free for any participating mother. Each year Minter’s Country Garden donates nearly 400 plants, and getting them to the run site can be a bit of a challenge, Al admits with a laugh. They’ve only got a small SUV, he says, “and it gets pretty crowded.”
Minter’s is just one of many local companies that support the run year after year. At Envision, staff really get behind the event, Lisa says. Not only do they volunteer, but many participate, coming from branches in Hope and Abbotsford.
They understand that their efforts have an impact. A few years ago, Lisa says, one of their branch managers had a baby that arrived prematurely. On the baby’s incubator at CGH was a little plaque, saying the machine was purchased with funds from the Envision Run for Mom.
It’s clear others understand the event’s importance as well, Lisa says. Every year volunteers, and as many as 900 participants, give up their Mother’s Day to support CGH. “It shows you how many people the hospital affects that you don’t realize,” she says.
Those volunteers include Lisa’s husband Gary, and son Cody. Their participation, says Lisa with a smile, is a Mother’s Day gift to her.
• This year’s Envision Run For Mom is Sunday, May 13. The course (8k road race, 5k fun run and walk, and 1k kids run) starts and finishes at UFV’s Trades and Technology Centre at Tyson and Keith Wilson. The race start is 10 a.m., but participants are urged to get there early if they haven’t preregistered. Information brochures can be picked up at several locations in Chilliwack, including any Envision branch, the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation office at CGH, or the Chilliwack Progress office. To register online, go to www.runformomchilliwack.ca.