The second annual Run/Walk Out Hunger in Nanaimo on Oct. 11 may become the 7-10 Club’s primary fundraiser.
The run/walk at Westwood Lake helps raise money for the club to put food on the table for the homeless and hungry in Nanaimo.
“We’re hoping to make it our primary fundraiser eventually,” says 7-10 Club chair Gord Fuller.
“We’ll be looking for sponsors to take it to another level.”
He says last year 40-50 people participated in the walk and raised $4500.
“It would be nice if we could double that or triple it,” says Fuller.
“If we can establish this as an annual entity, people recognize it and will get a little more pumped about it,” says Denis Ostercamp.
The run/walk takes 45 minutes to an hour at Westwood, which Fuller says is an ideal location.
“It would be nice to keep it at Westwood Lake. It’s highly by people but under-utilized for events.”
The 7-10 Club is also celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and Fuller says the numbers of people coming have tripled since the club started.
“What’s kind of sad in a way is that we’re actually seeing people who came as children coming as adults,” he says.
“But we’re also seeing people coming back as adults to volunteer.”
Fuller says the 7-10 Club provides two meals a day for ‘upwards of 250 people,’ originally starting with 100 people. The club operates five days a week though service organizations like Lantzville Rotary, Rotary North and the John Howard Society provide food for four Saturdays a month.
“We supply the space and coffee, they supply the food,” says Fuller.
The club currently operates out of the Community Services building at 285 Prideaux and had previously operated out of the St. Peter’s church for 22 years. The club primarily runs on volunteers.
“We have a cook we recently hired, and someone to do the shipping,” says Fuller. “All our funds go to feeding people, the vast majority.”
The 7-10 Club gets the vast majority of if $120,000 annual funding from donations and grants with other donations provided ‘in kind’ for equipment or supplies.
“The rotary club has been very generous with us by providing equipment for our kitchen,” says treasurer Dennis Ostercamp.
Ostercamp says the main grant from B.C. Gaming covers a third of the operating cost. A full list of funding partners is provided on the 7-10 Club website at http://nanaimo710club.com/