By RYAN KING
PORT AUX BASQUES –On Monday, Aug. 16, members of the Canadian Navy frigate, the HMCS St. John’s, started from Port aux Basques on their run across the island to St. John’s that will end on Aug. 27. The team will run over 900 kilometers to raise money for seriously ill children to provide them with a wish through the Make-A-Wish foundation.
Since 1996, the Navy volunteers have raised more than one million dollars for seriously ill children. Joel Goodyear, who is participating in the run, is from this region.
“It helps them get about $86,000 in fundraising for the Make-A-Wish foundation,” said Goodyear.
Goodyear is proud to be a part of his ships’ long-standing tradition.
“I believe this is the 25th year for us, so we’ve got quite a lot of experience doing this, but it’s the first time that I’ve done it,’ said Goodyear. “We have other boats that do – like bike runs – as well.”
Goodyear said raising the funds represents a solid team effort.
“We’re from the HMCS St. John’s and there’s 15 of us running across Newfoundland, so we’re taking turns. The HMCS St. John’s right now is in refit, so we’re supporting this run.”
With the sun pounding down on the island during a heatwave, Goodyear believes his military training was key to his success during the run.
“We had to take our shirts off to run, that’s for sure. We got up to the (Codroy) Valley, and it was about 30 degrees, but you gotta push through it, you got to do your best, right?”
With COVID-19 keeping the province in lockdown until only recently, it was a pleasant surprise for Goodyear to find out he was going to be able to come home to participate in the charity run.
“We were last minute that we sort of knew we were coming in Newfoundland, there when it opened up in July and plans were being made, so we were training right up until then,” said Goodyear.
He also has high praise for the region’s residents who have come together to help the children get their wish fulfilled.
“Donations were awesome. Port aux Basques was great. We killed the donations from last year. We beat them by quite a bit. Yeah, very supportive. Stephenville was very supportive, and Corner Brook right now is being extremely supportive. The Mary Browns here has offered us some lunch for today, so yeah, we’re doing pretty good,” said Goodyear.
By publication deadline, the HMCS St. John’s runners had raised $32,902 of their $85,000 goal.
For those unable to donate in person, Goodyear advised that there’s an option to do it online.
“They can go to http://www.makeawish.ca/runtherock. And there’s a whole page there actually describing the run and what we’re doing.”
The option to donate electronically is at the bottom of the page. To keep up to date, follow #RunTheRockNL and the Make-A-Wish Canada Newfoundland Chapter on Twitter and Facebook.