Friday, August 10, 2007

Run 4 Wishes - HMCS Charlottetown Sailors run across PEI

Alex joined the HMCS Charlottetown Sailors
for the last 12.5K of their
Day 3 run
Montague to Stratford,

More photos below.

Navy arriving by sea and air for run to help children's dreams
Fifth Run 4 Wishes will see 23 sailors from HMCS Charlottetown running across P.E.I.
for Children's Wish Foundation, with visit
s from Sea King helicopter
The GuardianTwenty-three sailors from HMCS Charlottetown are participating in the fifth annual Run 4 Wishes charity run in support of the P.E.I. chapter of the Children’s Wish Foundation. The sailors will be taking a rather large sneaker with them to accept donations over the next few days. Members of the team include, from left, Lt. (N) Mike Lavigne, LS Sean Spurvey, SLT. Joel MacDonald, OS Cole Wood and MS Troy Durnford. Guardian photo by Dave Stewart

From the sea and the air, the Canadian navy will invade Prince Edward Island over the next four days to try and make children’s dreams come true.

Twenty-three sailors from HMCS Charlottetown are participating in their fifth annual Run 4 Wishes charity run in support of the P.E.I. chapter of the Children’s Wish Foundation.

The charity run begins today in Alberton and wraps up in Charlottetown on Saturday. A Shearwater-based CH124 Sea King helicopter will take part at various points throughout the run.

Photos below of Alex & the HMCS Charlottetown sailors Aug. 10
“We’re very fortunate to have the helicopter coming this year,” Leading Seaman Michael Murphy, a crew member on HMCS Charlottetown and part of the Run 4 Wishes organizing team, said at a news conference in Charlottetown Tuesday.

The Sea King will stop in Montague behind the town hall on Thursday, at the Charlottetown Driving Park Entertainment Centre on Friday at 8 p.m. and at the Sunset Campground in Cavendish on Saturday. Other stops include O’Leary and Georgetown.

The public will be offered tours of the large helicopter.

“Once they land and they complete all their checks and safety precautions people are more than welcome to come and see the helicopter and ask questions about Run 4 Wishes or the Children’s Wish Foundation, donate some money if they like,” Murphy said.

The crew of HMCS Charlottetown launched Run 4 Wishes five years ago. In the event’s first year, they raised about $3,000. Last year, they came up with $21,000 for children’s wishes.

Murphy said their goals are to raise as much money for the Children’s Wish Foundation as possible and to integrate the ship’s crew into the community.

Lee Gauthier, executive director of the local Children’s Wish Foundation chapter, said they’ve granted 13 wishes on P.E.I. since January and are working on another 10 for the next few months. The foundation grants wishes for children with high-risk, life-threatening illnesses.

Some of the wishes granted include a concert and private meeting with country superstar Reba McEntire and NASCAR driver Tony Stewart.

“It is a wonderful thing when the community comes together to assist,” Gauthier said. “A wish is a wonderful escape for these children. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee said the Run 4 Wishes event reflects what the crew of HMCS Charlottetown means to the community.

“They are truly great ambassadors for the City of Charlottetown,” Lee said. “We succeed when we put a smile on a child’s face.”

Commander Patrick St.-Denis, commanding officer of HMCS Charlottetown, said he hopes Islanders will help his crew make dreams come true for children in the province.

It was a comment echoed by Kimm Carroll, manager of Sobeys on Allen Street, who said last year’s run helped raise enough money to grant two wishes on P.E.I.

“Please dig deep in your pockets to help this year,” Carroll said in a message directed at Islanders.

HMCS Charlottetown has entered into a partnership with Sobeys and will host a barbecue from Thursday to Saturday with all funds going to the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Chopper real hit in Georgetown
Organizer Michael Murphy, in front, runs off with the giant sneaker after Master Cpl. James Smith delivered donations
to the hovering Sea King helicopter in Georgetown Thursday. Guardian photo by Steve Sharratt
The Guardian

GEORGETOWN — The Sea King chopper that hovered over the memorial gardens here Thursday afternoon created enough wind velocity to blow any man — or woman — down.

And it was particularly difficult for the pilot and crew of the craft attached to HMCS Charlottetown as high winds buffeted the entire Island Thursday and even caused power outages and snapped trees.

But that wasn’t enough to deter either the Canadian Navy or Commander J. St.-Denis and his mates who turned out to thank the Kings County capital for their donations to their charity fundraiser.

“We want to present the mayor with our thanks for all your help,’’ said the commander in a louder than normal voice to counteract the noise and the wind created by the Sea Kings.

Georgetown Mayor Peter Llewellyn was presented a framed photograph of the Charlottetown for the town hall foyer. Young and old gathered for the event and looked in awe at the mighty helicopter and how deftly it was handled by its crew.

Master Cpl. James Smith was lowered from the chopper to collect the giant sneaker used by the 23 sailors who are running around the Island to raise funds for the Children’s Wish Foundation. He airlifted the sneaker full of cheques, bills and coins aboard the Sea King and then returned the big sneaker to the ground empty.

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