A walk/run in memory of Jay Dearman will be a fundraiser in support of Child, Youth, and Family support services on Gabriola.
Dearman was killed in 2018, when he was running on Berry Point Road and was struck by a vehicle. A local tradesperson and volunteer with the Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department, Dearman was also a member of the GRUNTS running group.
The memorial walk/run is scheduled to take place on June 18, starting and finishing at the Albert Reed Memorial Fire Hall #1 on Church Street. Start time is 11am, and the course will be approx. 5km. Entry to the walk/run is by donation. Oversight and expenditure of the monies will be through the Gabriola Health Care Foundation. Food will be provided by donation at the hall.
Jeff Miller with the Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department has been spearheading the organization of the run.
He said, “We are hoping to raise enough funding to begin to provide a range support services on Gabriola, and hopefully will continue to gather funds through grants etc. “A main goal of the event is improving awareness of this initiative. We hope that a wide range of people will come out to walk or run, so rather than it feeling like an athletic event, maintaining the feel of a family walk or jog / bbq after is the goal.”
Jay’s daughters spoke on behalf of the Dearman family. Carla Dearman said, “Running was always a huge part of his life, he started running in fact, with Mom when they were just in high school. He was also someone who was an advocate for mental health. He was always that person ready to reach out and help someone in need. He had a sense for it and was a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear for many people in our community. He would be so proud to see all of you out running for this cause.”
Sarah Dearman added, “Dad was always passionate about running and understood the strong connection between physical and mental wellbeing. He would have been proud and honoured to know that this run is taking place in his name, and we feel like it is really representative of who dad was as a person.”