A big thank you to everyone who ran and contributed towards this year’s Scotiabank Waterfront Toronto Marathon. We collectively raised $10 000 for our after-school programs!

I wouldn’t call myself a runner or even describe myself as athletic by any stretch. Friends and family also know that I’m not a morning person either. So, the act of waking up on a chilly, autumn Sunday at the crack of dawn to join thousands of people for a 5KM run doesn’t come easily to me. And yet, for the past three years this is exactly what I’ve been doing. Why? I run so that I can provide homework help for kids struggling to meet numeracy and literacy benchmarks. I run so that middle schoolers have a safe place to go to after school. I run so that finances will not be a barrier for our organization to help youth succeed.

The truth is that funding continues to be a challenge as we strive to provide quality programming for marginalized children and youth in one of Toronto’s socio- and economically-disadvantaged communities.

As I prepare for the big day by sending out personal funding requests and pick up my race kit, I’m reminded about the reason why I run. I think about the hundreds of students, parents, volunteers, educators and community members that I’ve interacted with over my past 8 years. As I think about all these remarkable individuals I’ve met and their stories, it motivates me to raise funds and awareness about a cause that I’ve devoted my entire adult years towards. Sometimes, we don’t realize how special something is until a situation or event reminds us about it. The Scotiarun has helped me see that and that makes raising funds a little easier and running more enjoyable—dare I say, I even look forward to it. – Audrey Mahimwala, Site Supervisor