Graduate runs across country to raise scholarship money
by Ginny Collins
REGINA (CUP) –– Wes and Dano Baker, two brothers from Western Canada, have hit the road to raise money that will go toward scholarships for university students.
Wes’s mission is to run across Canada, from Halifax Harbour to Victoria, in an attempt to raise $100,000 in donations to help students in financial need.
This is a project headed by Canada Run, an association of which Wes Baker is the president.
Wes’s brother Dano has also come along for the ride. He has done part of the journey on foot but mainly takes care of the administrative and public relations tasks while riding alongside Wes in the Canada Run van.
“Wes thought it would be a fun way to do things for a good cause,” said Dano.
The Canada Run Association began as a student work-term project but soon turned into a reality. Being recent graduates themselves, Wes and Dano say they know the financial struggle many students face.
An average day on the road for the brothers includes getting up at 4 a.m. and hitting the road by 5 a.m. Wes takes a one-hour lunch break as well as 10-minute breaks every six or seven kilometres.
The two continue travelling until 8 p.m. each evening. Although the journey began as a “run” the brothers have since had to slow their pace down.
“Wes has been walking a lot throughout the whole prairies because he hurt himself back in Ontario,” said Dano in a phone interview Tuesday.
Apparently, while much further East, Wes hurt his knee fairly seriously while running. Despite this, by Tuesday morning they had reached Medicine Hat Alberta with no intentions of slowing down. On average they travel around 65 kilometres a day.
According to Dano, several companies have been very supportive of the campaign. Many other companies and organizations have expressed interest but are waiting for Canada Run to achieve charity status. They are currently in the process of doing so and are waiting to receive their status package. Once it is received, donators will get a tax receipt for any donation over $50. The association is also asking the public for individual cash donations.
As far as gaining further support and publicity, the brothers are optimistic about the last stretch of their journey.
“The last three weeks are really going to be significant as far as the dent that we make,” said Dano, adding later that he felt the West was where their base was the strongest.
The journey is expected to finish by mid- to late- November. Dano said that they are unsure of the exact financial gains so far and that they don’t wish to find out until the journey is completed.
Scholarship application details can be obtained at www.canadarun.com.