On September 7th, 2013 starting at 6:30am for the 'Make It or Break It' category or 10:00am for the 'Recreational' category, Coquitlam resident and Safe Harbour Co-ordinator, Alexander Bell, is inviting the community to join him to walk the Coquitlam Crunch to raise money for a Community Diversity fund with the Coquitlam Foundation.
This event will be happening rain or shine. If you are going more than once you may want to bring a change of dry clothes.
Alex has teamed up with the Coquitlam Foundation to create a Diversity Initiative Fund for Coquitlam. Bell’s goal is to raise $10,000 over five years so that the fund will begin to generate enough interest to start distributing annual grants within the Tri-Cities.
A unique local charity, the Coquitlam Foundation, will host the Diversity fund in perpetuity. Established by an Act of the B.C. Legislature, the Coquitlam Foundation was created in 1992 to help generous and compassionate citizens create enduring legacies in their community.Safe Harbour
Safe Harbour: Respect for All is about a vision in action: creating opportunities for storefront businesses, institutions, agencies, and entire municipalities to celebrate our differences, helping to create safer, more welcoming communities that support diversity and reject discrimination.New Earth Marketing
New Earth Marketing provides affordable marketing services, website, web applications & online community development. New Earth Marketing designed and is hosting the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge website.
Coquitlam Crunch Challenge: Participation doubles again
The Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge continues to grow in popularity each year. The fourth annual event, held September 7th, garnered twice the number of participants over last year raising $3200 for a Community Diversity Fund with the Coquitlam Foundation. Athletes on the trail came from as far as Vernon to challenge Matt Sessions’ 2012 record of 17 consecutive trips in a 12 hour period.
They started in rain at dawn, but 10 hours later the Challengers were travelling under hot sun and only Matt Sessions, Chris Wilson, Jerry Mesner and Nadia Clemens were still on the trail in the Make-It-or-Break-It category. By late afternoon it was clear that Matt Sessions’ 2012 record was safe and so Matt called it a day at 14 times up and down the Crunch. Nadia Clemens took the women’s record with 7 trips with other women doing 4 trips. Among the men, Chris Wilson did 12 trips and Jerry Mesner did 10 (a tie with founder Alex Bell’s 2010 record).
Event founder Alex Bell was more than pleased, “It was great fun, and while the event lets us set and meet personal challenges, it is really about helping us enhance our community. A number of people came out just to try to make it up once or twice. This is one of the beautiful things about this fundraiser, you can set your own goal and rise to that challenge,” said Bell. “For me, the spirit of diversity really shone through this year when Michael Coss joined up.”
Using just a cane, brain injury survivor Michael Coss took to the Crunch to help Bell launch a new participation category for people with mobility challenges. Just a year out of his wheelchair, Coss and thirty friends and supporters joined Alex Bell to open the “Anything’s Possible” trail. A paved section of the Crunch trail above David Avenue has been designated to launch a new category for future events. Once told he would never walk, talk or feed himself independently again, Michael was excited to train for his first official hike after a 2006 accident left him in a coma, then a wheelchair. Before his accident, Michael had done the Crunch as training with his baseball team, and he was keen to make his return. Michael’s motto is 'Anything is possible, when you believe' and it was an inspiration to watch him succeed. With a huge grin, Michael said he was “pumped” to blaze a trail that he hopes others with physical disabilities will follow.
Bell is quick to recognize how the event has benefitted from the support of the three locally designated ‘Safe Harbours’; Vancity, Pasta Polo and Safeway. Several independent business people like Susan Jarema (New Earth Marketing), Carey Ward (Pack N Ship), Jessica Prassad (Realtor), and Aaron at A-Three Creative Solutions have helped each year and donations from Starbucks, Costco, The Keg and McDonalds were also appreciated this year.
Through the Coquitlam Foundation, the fund will provide community grants to organizations and schools that undertake projects that promote diversity awareness, respect and integration for any one of the eight diversity dimensions: Ages, Faiths, Cultures, Sexual Orientation, Mental and Physical abilities, Gender, Socio-Economic Level and Ethnicity. It is Bell’s belief that a more inclusive community is a healthier and safer community and so, it would seem, do more and more people each year. Donations are still welcome c/o www.coquitlamcrunch.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Coquitlam Foundation AGM is being held this Thursday, October 10th at 7:30 pm in the Coquitlam Foundation Room at the City Centre Library. The next CRUNCH CHALLENGE is set for Saturday, September 6th, 2014.