Chippewa Park was taken over by pirates, superheroes and even some Waldos Saturday.
People were dressed in all types of costumes for the annual Relay for Shelter – Thunder Bay Shelter House’s largest fundraiser of the year.
Keith Facca and his team from the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre dressed up as the iconic character Waldo from the popular Where’s Waldo children’s book series.
It was Facca’s first year participating in the event and although rain was threatening as opening ceremonies got underway around 10 a.m., he was happy to be there.
“Rain or shine, we’re here to have a good time and at the same time we were able to raise some money for charity and local shelter,” he said.
The TBRHSC team was made up of mostly staff from the stroke and renal floor, but also a few additions from other areas of the hospital, including a paramedic.
As health care professionals, Facca said they see firsthand the benefits of an organization like Shelter House.
“You see a lot of people coming into the hospital…to see the Shelter give back and put people up overnight to keep them warm and feed them is unbelievable,” he said.
To see such enthusiasm from the 19 participating teams was heartwarming for Shelter House executive director Patty Hajdu.
“It’s so fulfilling for me,” she said, noting that about 40 per cent of the non-profit organization’s budget comes from fundraising.
“We couldn’t provide the level of services that we do without the community,” she said. “That’s one thing I have noticed since I’ve been with the organization – whenever we need help, the community rallies around us and supports us.”
The event brings in anywhere from $120,000 to $160,000 for Shelter House and Hajdu said this year’s goal is $140,000.
While the organization will have to adjust their budget if the goal isn’t raised, Hajdu said the day was about having fun.
Teams participated in races and challenges all day long.
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