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Walk organizers prepare gift for Santa Claus Parade

The 2018 Willow Creek Wilderness Walk/Run will again make its way through River Valley Wilderness Park in Fort Macleod on May 26.

Walkers and runners will gather in Fort Macleod Saturday, May 26 for the sixth year in a row for the Willow Creek Wilderness Walk/Run.
A portion of the proceeds from the event this year will go to the Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade committee.
“It is an event that benefits a large number of people from the community of all ages and backgrounds,” event founder Stasha Donahue said.
The criteria the committee used to weight the applications included whether it had funded the group before; the benefit to the community; other available funding sources; potential to provide volunteers for the walk/run; the perceived need; and the potential impact of the donation.
“They were asking for donations last November and we decided then we would help them with a donation then and also have them as our beneficiary for 2018,” Donahue said of the Santa Claus Parade committee.
Past recipients of donations from the event are the M.A.E. Belles, Empress Theatre Society, Fort Macleod Playground Committee and Fort Macleod Community Initiatives Group.
The core group of organizers includes Brendan Grant, Lacey Poytress, Joella Bevan, Chris Adamiuk and Denise Joel.
Volunteers the day of the event include members of the group that will receive the donation, this year the Santa Claus Parade committee.
Donahue said she is impressed with the people who help stage the Willow Creek Wilderness Walk/Run.
“Inspiration for me includes that we have volunteers from different groups we have funded in the past show up to volunteer each year,” Donahue said. “The event is about promoting fitness but also building relationships between groups in our communities. It seems we are able to do that with different group members coming back each year to help with an event that funds a different group.”
The Willow Creek Wilderness Walk/Run typically attracts more than 200 people of all ages. Those people also inspire the organizers.
“Given that we allow walking and running, we enable a range of participants,” Donahue said. “Some are young, some are in their 70s and beyond. Some have done many races before and are seasoned trained runners.”
“Others are new to the event and while running a half marathon is out of the questions for them, walking five kilometres with friends is not. It is great to see an event that draws a range of age groups and fitness levels.”
Participants will complete either a half marathon or five- or 10-kilometre routes through River Valley Wilderness Park at Fort Macleod.
There are also five- and 10-kilometre routes for children.
The half marathon gets under way at 8 a.m. May 26, with the 10-kilometre getting under way at 9 a.m., followed by the five-kilometre at 9:30 a.m.
The event, which is chip-timed, is open to people of all ages and abilities.
Participants had until Sunday to pay the $50 registration fee in order to receive an event T-shirt or order a hoodie.
Registrations are still accepted, but T-shirts will not be provided.
Registration information is at the Willow Creek Wilderness Walk Run Facebook page.
For more information call Stasha Donahue at 403-308-0410.

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