If you want to help support children in Kamloops and look good while doing it, Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run might be the perfect event for you.
In this case, though, looking good is probably in the eye of the beholder.
Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run, which will take place on Sunday, Dec. 2, in Aberdeen, is a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club’s Power Start Program. The program helps children who may be experiencing challenges with food sustainability or getting to school on time.
Volunteers pick children up at their homes in the morning and drive them to school.
Once there, the kids are fed a nutritious breakfast and receive help preparing for the day. When school starts, the kids are sent off with a healthy snack for recess.
Payton Comazzetto founded the run last year in honour of her brother, Brennan, who was 10 years old when he was killed by a drunk driver in 1999.
It left Payton, then six years old, traumatized. Through the years, she has struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and flashbacks.
She wanted to do something to honour her brother and give back to the community at the same time.
Comazzetto said money raised from last year’s inaugural event did a lot of good work, raising $7,570, which fed 30 kids for an entire school year and helped with upgrades to the Boys and Girls Club’s facility.
The 5K run (or walk) will be held this Sunday at 10 a.m. at the West Highlands Community Centre in Aberdeen (the former clubhouse of the Aberdeen Golf Links).
“It’s a beautiful facility, beautiful trail,” Comazzetto said.
“The whole route is actually decorated, has Christmas music, there’s a DJ playing, so it’s got a pretty good vibe going.”
She said she wanted to keep the event as inclusive as possible because inclusivity was always important to her brother.
“The kid that never really got picked first for P.E., he picked first, or the kids that didn’t get invited to many birthday parties, they were always at his,” she said.
“So he found a way to just include everyone. This event does also do that, to include everyone, make it affordable.
“We’ve been giving away free registrations to people that might not be able to afford it.
“We’re just really trying to keep that inclusive feel because that was his spirit, so we want to continue that.”
Families are welcome and the route is stroller-friendly.
Prizes will be given out in categories such as Worst Sweater, Best Costume for a Couple and Best Family Costume.
“Last year, we had some pretty hideous sweaters and some pretty hilarious ones,” Comazzetto said.
Sponsoring the event are Kamloops This Week, Wesco Distribution, Synergy Counselling Associates, Volkswagen of Kamloops, Fulton and Company, Kamloops Electric Motor and The Printing Place.
Those interested can register with a minimum $10 donation for a single entry or a minimum $35 donation for a family.
Entrants can pay by cash on the morning of the run or pre-register online at www.gofundme.com/brennan2018.