#UAEastside 10k Training Run, Pacers, Shirt and Medal Reveal

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The Under Armour Eastside 10k unveiled their 2017 finisher medals and race shirts at their kick-off event last night. Over 50 local runners and race day pacers celebrated the unveiling of this year’s memorabilia with a 6k social run.  The run went out on a loop from the Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB) and featured parts of the new 2017 race course.  The GVFB is one of the key charities for the UA Eastside 10k this year.

The medal for the Under Armour Eastside 10k’s 5th anniversary features the East Van cross. Presented in the same unique dog-tag style medal featured in previous years, this year’s medal features another iconic landmark of Vancouver’s Eastside.

The 2017 Under Armour Pace Team joined in on the medal and shirt reveal.  In preparation for race day, the pacers received their pacing kits and got a first hand look at the course.  There will be a pair of pacers for each of the following times: 45:00; 50:00; 55:00; 60:00; 65:00; 70:00 and 75:00. They will be running to help you achieve your race day goals!

A big thank you to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank for showing runners around the facility, and for helping out at the event.

About The Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB)

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank is a non-profit organization with a mission to create empowering environments that provide and promote access to healthy food, education and training. The GVFB provides assistance to over 26,500 people weekly through 13 food locations and more than 80 community agencies located in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and the North Shore. The GVFB is committed to its vision of accessible, healthy and sustainable food for all and through community collaboration, is pro-actively working to help end hunger. Donate today!

Training Run Photos

Meet the 2017 Under Armour Pace Team

Feature Friday – Vancouver Food Bank

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An Important Member of the Food Bank Family

It’s 5:30 a.m. Every Tuesday morning, Kat Perrara hops out of bed eager to see her friends at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank’s Southside Depot.

Kat makes the long commute from Surrey to Burnaby.

It’s 7:30 a.m. when she reaches her destination which is already buzzing as the Food Bank truck works with volunteers to unload food from the main warehouse.

As Kat walks into Southside Community Church, she is greeted with a hot cup of coffee and a sandwich. Chatter fills the room as volunteers catch up on what has happened in since they saw each other last.

The volunteers work together to unload the truck and set up their stations.

When 9:30 flashes, Kat is waiting at the greeting table where she welcomes and scans in Food Bank members.

It was only four years ago that Kat stood on the other side of the greeting table — as a member of the Food Bank.

She would stay for hours talking and laughing with the other volunteers and even helping out where she could. They told Kat she should become a volunteer, and without hesitation she did. In return, she gained another family.

“We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries together. We get together when someone in the group has lost someone, and we collect donations amongst the volunteers if someone is going through a rough time,” Kat says. “We really take care of each other.”

The clock strikes 11, and the last of the members come in. The volunteers at Southside begin to clean up and prepare lunch. As the doors finally close, and clean-up is finished, the volunteers gather for a quick bite before they head out.

Kat is one of hundreds of volunteers who have found a family through her volunteering experience with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. To find out more about volunteering opportunities with us, please visit:

#ScotiaHalf 2017 Charity Profiles – Family Places

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Throughout the Lower Mainland, there are many Family Places that offer support, resources, and programs for families with young children who are under 6 years old.  Family Places provide help to young families to ensure their children are raised in a healthy and happy environment.  Not only do these places assist parents and caretakers with the necessary resources and activities to promote the child’s development, they  have drop-in and learning programs for the children too.

Four of the local Family Places are participating in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge in 2017.  If you want to learn more about their programs, or wish to donate, click on their link below for more information.

West Side Family Place SocietyWest Side Family Place

West Side Family Place makes a difference in the lives of families.

We know that raising children can be lonely, frustrating and sometimes bewildering. West Side Family Place provides a safe space for mothers, fathers, and caregivers with young children from all backgrounds to gather and play, free from judgement or the long-term commitment of registered programs.

Please join us in support of this amazing organization and help us continue to provide a welcoming space and practical programs that support the healthy development of children in the community.

For information about how to get involved, please contact Diane at 604-738-2819.


South Vancouver Family Place SocietySouth Vancouver Family Place

Our mandate is to support families (with children newborn to 5 years), in building healthy relationships and community networks by providing our services in welcoming, nurturing and respectful environments. In addition, we operate a licensed preschool serving 70 local families.


Please help South Vancouver Family Place to continue offering diverse and relevant programming for vulnerable families in South/East Vancouver. Join our team as a fundraiser, get your friends to also join our team as fundraisers, or to sponsor you. Every single penny sponsored to you is donated directly to South Vancouver Family Place.


Mount Pleasant Family Centre SocietyMount Pleasant Family Place

We are gathering a team of passionate supporters to run/walk 5K on Sunday, June 25 to help us raise awareness to the support we give to families with young children. For forty years the Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society has been providing a safe space where families with young children can make new friends, learn new skills, and receive support.

When you join our team, you get access to fundraising tools, training, team/race day photos, team spirit and the heartfelt gratitude of families that you’re literally stepping up for. All you need is a passion for healthy families.

For more information, please visit

Eastside Family Place SocietyEastside Family Place

You can help young children and families! Eastside Family Place is again participating in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge and we invite you to join our team or to make a donation today.

Parents often describe Eastside Family Place as a “home away from home,” a “lifesaver,” and a “microcosm of what we want the world to be.” We ARE the proverbial village raising the child!

Please help by joining & walking with us to raise funds. If that’s not possible, you can still support young children and families in East Vancouver by DONATING NOW through this page. Thank you!

Running for Team Colleen at the Race Roster Spring Run-Off

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By: Amy Friel 

For Jordan Milchman, signing up for the Race Roster Spring Run-Off was supposed to signify a long-awaited return to running after a year beset by injury.

Milchman, who completed his first-ever half-marathon two years ago at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, spent the better part of 2016 dealing with a persistent back injury. By January of this year, a newly-recovered Milchman started looking at goal races for 2017.

With its notoriously challenging course winding through the hills of High Park, the Race Roster Spring Run-Off looked to him like the perfect tune-up on the road to a spring return to the half-marathon distance.

“I’ve never done an 8K before,” Milchman explains. “So I thought, I’m automatically gonna set a personal best.” Excited by the prospect of racing again, he signed up.

Two days later, things changed, when Milchman’s colleague and longtime friend Colleen Liao was diagnosed with cancer.

Liao, who Milchman describes as “my coworker, my buddy, and one of the best people I know”, is no stranger to the disease. Four years earlier, shortly after Colleen and her husband Len learned that they were expecting their first child, Liao was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer.

“Colleen is a certified badass,” Milchman says of his friend, who underwent a lumpectomy at 12 weeks pregnant, followed by chemotherapy at 22 weeks.

Her body responded well to the treatment, with Liao receiving the much hoped-for “all clear” from her doctors shortly before the birth of her son, Chase. Newly cancer-free and relishing life as a new mom, Liao returned to work, where she and Milchman became fast friends, bonding over a shared irreverent sense of humour.

“We always found each other funny,” he recalls of their early days working together. “We laughed a lot.”

So when his friend learned early this year that her cancer had returned, Milchman decided to enter the Race Roster Spring Run-Off to support Liao.

Along with a few friends, Milchman switched his individual registration to a charity entry and began fundraising as the captain of “Team Colleen”. And though the team’s goals were modest at first, the response to their cause has been anything but.

“When we started out, our team goal was $3,000,” he recalls. “I think we hit that on the first day. A lot of people have been quite generous.”

Donations to Team Colleen benefit the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, a global leader in cancer research, and one of the largest comprehensive cancer treatment facilities in the world.

With less than two weeks until race day on Saturday, April 8th, Team Colleen has now raised more than $8,000 and counting towards their revised $10,000 goal. Looking over the list of individual donations, Milchman notes that much of it has come from fellow friends and colleagues who, like him, have been touched by Liao’s enduring tenacity and indomitable spirit in the face of what appear to be increasingly long odds.

For her part, Liao has chosen to focus on spending time with her husband and three-year-old son since her rediagnosis, prioritizing her health, family, and happiness as much as possible.

“Colleen is a very strong person,” Milchman says. “She’s very positive, very upbeat. She knows what’s coming, but she just stays very positive.”

Her outlook has had a ripple effect. With friends, colleagues, and strangers alike throwing their support behind Team Colleen, donations in support of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre continue to pour in. It’s a momentum that Milchman hopes will continue right up to race day, and beyond.

“We have all been connected to cancer in one way or another,” he says. “We’re doing what we can to ensure we never have to encounter it again.”

To support Team Colleen and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, or to get involved with fundraising, visit their fundraising page.

Support Team Colleen: 

Make a general donation to the event: 

We thank participants for raising money for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and look forward to seeing you at the Race Roster Spring Run-Off on April 8th.

Registration is still open at

#ScotiaHalf 2017 Charity Profiles

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Over the next few months we’ll be profiling some of the amazing charities involved with this year’s Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k along with some of the great work they do. This week, we spoke to the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation.

Want to get involved? Find out more about the Scotiabank Charity Challenge here!

Royal Columbian Hospital FoundationRoyal Columbian Hospital Foundation

Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation is Pounding the Pavement for Preemies!

We are working together with friends and family to fundraise for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This year our goal is to raise $88,000 to fund the remaining balance of our Infant Transport Incubator. An Infant Transport Incubator is a self-contained, mobile, intensive care unit for sick or premature babies to be transported to a neonatal intensive-care unit for specialized treatment.

The Van Marrewyk family experienced first-hand the exceptional care from the RCH Hospital after the birth of their triplet daughters in 2010. Wanting to give back, they organized an annual 5km walk for family and friends that also acted as a fundraiser for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Royal Columbian Hospital. Those Christmastime walkathons raised $110,000. As the family and the Foundation discussed future fundraising efforts, we all saw an advantage in joining the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. We caught up with the Van Marrewyk’s about their involvement, their goals and their story:

How/why did you decide to use the Scotiabank Charity Challenge as a big fundraiser instead of continuing with the walk you’ve put on in the past?  Do you still put the walk on as an annual event? 
This option was brought forward to us by the RCH Foundation.  The biggest reason that we joined forces with both the RCH foundation and Scotiabank Charity Challenge was for ease and exposure.  This fundraiser was never about our family it has always been about the NICU.  When we did the walk it was located in Ladner and it was difficult to bring the entire NICU community to us so it was always more of a family and friends event.  Now the event has been able to reach more of just the NICU community and that was ultimately what our family wanted.  Our dream was to raise awareness about the NICU and give the NICU families a place to come together and celebrate our miracles that have come through the NICU. 
We do not still do the walk, like everyone these days we are a busy family and the walk consumed roughly 6-8 months of our year trying to plan, execute the walk, and then finally send out all of the thank you’s.  We know how much goes into an event like this and for the foundation to take this work off of our plate has been amazing for us.  The RCH Foundation is truly the backbone of why this fundraiser has continued.

Royal Columbian Hospital FoundationWhat made you become so involved with the RCH Foundation?  I’m sure many families have been helped through their care, but what made you decide to give back over the years? 
Without the NICU we would not have our family of 6.  Our children were very sick when they came under the care of Dr. Al-Mudaffer of the NICU.  He and his team (doctors and nurses) made sure that they would find the answers of why the kids were so sick and he did.  The RCH Foundation was our avenue to ensure that our money made it back into the RCH NICU’s system.  They have been absolutely amazing in their tireless work and continue to exceed all of our expectations.  They always make things happen and always looking our for not only the hospitals best interests but also the families of the patients.  They make things happen!

Where does the money that’s fundraised go to every year? Is it based on the needs of the neonatal unit? 
Queenie (NICU Manager) still allows us to choose where this money goes.  Every time we start a new year we are given a few choices and the monetary amount of the items that we are discussing.  The current focus is an Infant Transport Incubator. Before this, we raised money to purchase a jet ventilator, which provides a gentle and effective mode of ventilation to help the most fragile premature babies breathe, since their lungs are not developed enough for them to breathe on their own. We’ve also purchased infusion pumps that deliver fluids and medications as well as a couple of isolette incubators.
The Incubator stretcher that we are currently still working on has been a special piece of equipment because we have an agreement with the hospital that we will continue to raise funds for this piece of equipment (forecasted 3 years) but the piece of equipment has already been purchased.  The hospital is paying for this piece of equipment and we are paying them back, what an amazing relationship!

When you sign up for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon or 5k, you can choose to run for the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. Already registered to run? You can join their fundraising team today or make a donation to their team.

Dr. Peter AIDS FoundationDr. Peter AIDS Foundation

The Dr. Peter Centre is a leader in providing HIV care for individuals who face complex social and health issues, including mental illness, addictions, poverty, homelessness and social isolation.

Located in Vancouver’s West End, the Dr. Peter Centre provides three programs – day health, 24-hour specialized nursing care residence, and enhanced supportive housing, which together form a campus of care with integrative HIV services supporting personal autonomy and effective use of health care resources.

Now in our 8th year, staff and volunteers of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation form the “Red Ribbon Roadrunners” and run in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge to fundraise. Our team runs not only for fitness, but also to support compassionate care for people living with HIV.

We chose the Scotiabank Charity Challenge as one of our yearly fundraisers because it is a world-class race that provides a seamless platform that allows us to focus our efforts and resources on fundraising. It is also a great way to meet new people, get in shape, and have fun!

The Red Ribbon Roadrunners participate annually in the Scotiabank Half-Marathon and 5k in support of the life-changing work of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. Every contribution makes a difference. When you run, walk or pledge on behalf of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, you help provide vital care for people living with HIV.

Our food and nutrition program is the cornerstone of our model of care. Every day in the day health program, nutritious breakfasts and lunches are served, providing the high level of nutrition needed for a person to fully benefit from HIV treatment and to bolster the immune system.

In our day health program, a meal is so much more than a meal – it’s THE draw for engagement in HIV treatment and other HIV care.

Our goal is to raise $5000, enough to fund 1000 meals at the Dr. Peter Centre!

Dr. Peter AIDS FoundationWhen you sign up for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon or 5k, you can choose to run for The Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. Already registered to run? You can join their fundraising team today or make a donation to their team.

lipstick-projectThe Lipstick Project

The Lipstick Project is a small, Vancouver-based non-profit that provides free, professional spa services to men, women and children who are facing significant health challenges. Through partnerships with organizations like Ronald McDonald House, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and the Vancouver Hospice Society, our volunteers deliver comfort, dignity and compassionate care to those in need. We’ve never participated in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge before and are really looking forward to engaging our community in this new way this year!

lipstick-projectWe chose to participate in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge because it is an event that such a diverse group of our community can participate in. Because volunteering with our organization requires a very specific skill set, there are lots of supporters and fans in our community who can’t volunteer with us. This event is a great way to engage our entire community and rally them around a specific cause.

People can run for our charity by signing up here and joining our team. We’re very excited to make this a community-building event that is much more than just on race-day. That’s why we have partnered up with Rackets & Runners’ run club for training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. We also have an active Facebook community where we’re posting training tips, gear info, stretching videos, and different tidbits to help people make the most of this experience.

The funds raised will help us continue our programs and services in the coming year. We’re also always hopeful to expand the reach of our organization to serve more people, and success in this fundraising endeavour would help us to bring those expansions to life.

When you sign up for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon or 5k, you can choose to run for The Lipstick Project in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. Already registered to run? You can join their fundraising team today or make a donation to their team.

Check back next week – we’ll be talking to another one of our great charities! You can find the full list of our partner charities here.