A charity fun run with its roots in Medicine Hat and Fort McMurray is making its way to Rocky View County (RVC) for the first time this Labour Day Weekend.
Hues For Humanity is a family-friendly walk/run that will take place in the Springbank community of Harmony on Sept. 4 – and the event includes a colourful twist.
“We’ll have a DJ and stuff like that, so it will be a bit of a party atmosphere,” said Harmony resident Brian Lokhorst, who is helping organize the event. “People will start by doing a group colour toss and then they’ll walk, run or push a stroller down the trail. It’s supposed to be pretty casual and family-friendly.”
Thanks to the group colour toss, participants will be doused head to toe in a colourful powder before they start the run. Volunteers will provide additional colour tosses midway through, to ensure participants are still covered in colour when they arrive at the finish line.
Lokhorst explained the colourful powder is made of a mix of food-grade ingredients.
“It’s a bit crazy, but people love it who participate in it,” he said. “People might be familiar with Colour Me Rad. I’ve never done Colour Me Rad, but our event is focused on charity and won’t be the same number of people.”
Hues For Humanity originated seven years ago in Medicine Hat and supports a charity called Canadian Humanitarian. Lokhorst, who is a long-time friend of the charity’s founders, said he helped expand the event to Fort McMurray – where he previously lived – in 2016.
However, due to the wildfires in that city in 2016, he said Fort McMurray’s inaugural Hues For Humanity event had to be postponed.
After recently retiring from his position as a senior advisor for maintenance and projects with Syncrude Canada Ltd., Lokhorst said he and his family relocated to Harmony. Now that he is settled in Springbank, he added he is excited to bring Hues for Humanity to west RVC.
“It’s a really fun event,” he said. “It’s different, and every member of the family can participate, with the exception of pets.”
According to Lokhorst, the charity the event supports is focused on assisting children in poverty in the countries of Ethiopia, Malawi and Guatemala. The founders – Richard and Deb Northcott – have a personal connection to Ethiopia, as they adopted two children from Ethiopia as a result of the Ethiopian famine.
“They started their charity work and it’s evolved into Canadian Humanitarian,” Lokhorst said. “They’re constantly trying to raise funds to support the program. They have about 10 locations in Ethiopia, at least one in Malawi, and in Guatemala, it’s not so much a location but support.”
Having travelled to Ethiopia with the charity, Lokhorst added he has seen firsthand the impact Canadian Humanities has in the country.
“They have what I think is a great model for helping pull [children] out of poverty,” he said. “They’ve got a great model that focuses on the child and keeps the child in their home, whatever that looks like – which is usually incredibly modest. They help ensure those students can go to school, get good meals, have access to showers and purchase uniforms for them so they can go to school.”
The fun run is slated to starts at 10 a.m. on Sept. 4. Online registration will be available until late August, with participation costing $40 or $45, depending on whether registrants are on a team or running solo. Youth aged 10 to 16 can participate for $30, while children under the age of 10 can take part for free.
Lokhorst said people will be able to register in person either the night before or the morning of the run. Each registration comes with a white T-shirt, colour packets, and swag bag.