The Run will kick off from Port aux Basques on Monday, July 24 at 9 a.m. The annual 900+ kilometre run by crewmembers of HMCS St. John’s is held to raise funds for the Children’s Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children between the ages of three and 17 who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
Roberts, a Port aux Basques native and crewmember on the HMCS St. John’s, will be running the event for the first time.
“We weren’t really expected to do this because the ship now is currently deployed and we’re all new crew,” said Roberts via telephone interview. “The ship gets back Monday, the 17th, from a six month deployment and normally the crew — they would have started this last year — last October, to prepare for this.”
Despite the short notice and the challenges it would present, the commanding officer of HMCS St. John’s decided that some of the ship’s crew would Run the Rock once again this year. When they aren’t running the crewmembers will solicit donations from residents and businesses along the route.
“We’d certainly like to match last year’s,” said Roberts about the impressive $100,000 raised. “That would be nice to match it, but given our short timeline we’re kind of nervous about setting that goal.”
Roberts thinks generous Newfoundlanders will do their best to help support the crew and simply hopes to do the fundraiser justice. He’s looking forward to meeting some of the kids along the way, and said the national gala he recently attended was an eye opener.
“Everybody’s really looking forward to it,” said Roberts about his fellow runners. “Just seeing the communities and the people out there.”
Roberts advised that the crew will be available to accept donations in the Port aux Basques area the night prior to starting their run on Monday morning.