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LOOKING GOOD:Deborah Grimm, Dolores Elliott and Cindy Dobbe have dedicated their lives to help those living with eating disorders. Mothers with daughters who suffered from bulimia and anorexia nervosa, they discovered how difficult it was to find resources and care to help their children. Community programs were stretched, hospital admissions had lengthy waiting lists and families desperately seeking care were forced to find help outside of Canada at great personal expense. Not wanting others to go through what they did, the mothers were determined to change the outlook for other families in similar circumstances.
In 2002, through sheer determination and perseverance, they along with other parents established the Looking Glass Foundation for eating disorders, a charity dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of eating issues and improving the access to programs and services for those suffering. Their Looking Glass Gala would be a major source of funds to fulfil the group’s lengthy wish list of services and programs for sufferers of all ages, genders and backgrounds.
Since its humble beginnings, the organization established the country’s first residential treatment centre for young people. Originally on Galiano Island, the Woodstone treatment facility eventually moved to the old Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver. Renamed The Looking Glass Residence, the 14-bed facility is now operated in collaboration with the Provincial Health Services Authority. The foundation today also operates various outreach services, a unique eight-day summer camp, an online peer mentorship program, as well as a face-to-face support group.
To further support its ongoing efforts, board chair Debbie Slattery and executive director Susan Climie would front the firm’s flagship fundraiser. Now in its 15th year, the event brought together 400 guests — clients, clinicians, doctors, families and friends — to the Rocky Mountaineer Station for the formal dinner and auction. Emceed by Global B.C.’s Sophie Lui, and yours truly, attendees filled the station for the Starry Night-themed affair, a lavish evening of fun and philanthropy celebrating the community of stars that have made recovery possible.
Hearing from mothers, caregivers and those impacted by the mental illness that reportedly affects nearly 1.5 million Canadians, attendees helped the foundation net an impressive $400,000 — a record amount for the event — to further support the 500 individuals that access the non-profit’s services yearly.
“The tremendous support tonight will directly benefit those who participate in our programs and services, will decrease isolation, instil hope and sustain recovery for those impacted by eating disorders across B.C.,” says Slattery.
“We know that recovery is possible because we have witnessed the recovery of many of our program participants,” adds Climie. “Knowing this, we continue the fight against eating disorders. Through innovative approaches to early intervention, support, recovery and relapse prevention, we are able to make a real difference in people’s lives.”
Celebrating 35 years of Vancouver Sun Runs
35 YEARS RUNNING: Remembering the first 10K Vancouver Sun Run in 1985 that drew 3,200 racing enthusiasts, track and field Olympians Doug and Diane Clement are still amazed at the continued interest the run they co-founded draws annually. Last Sunday’s road race saw more than 43,000 hit the pavement for the 10-kilometre circuit, 99 per cent of them from the Lower Mainland.
“We were fortunate,” Doug recalled. “The creation of the run happened during a fitness revolution around the mid-80s. There was a real focus on health and fitness. Aerobics, jazzercise, racquetball, home gyms, 20- and 30-minute workouts, and running were de rigueur.”
While some trends came and thankfully went, The Vancouver Sun Run flourished over the decades, peaking at 60,000 registered participants — young and old, and of all abilities — just after the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Today, The Vancouver Sun Run is reportedly Canada’s largest 10K road race and among the top three in North America.
While the course may have changed over the years, and the management of the race — currently overseen by the Capstone Design Group, the couple along with The Vancouver Sun has been a regular fixture.
“The paper — the many owners, editors and promotional staff over the years — have really contributed to the promotion of health and fitness and success of the event,” said Doug.
“I just love all the people, and the community that comes together having fun and taking a step toward good health,” beamed Diane, an accomplished chef and author, as well as runner.
Together for more than six decades, the celebrated couple joined fellow founder Jack Taunton for the event’s official launch and elite runners reception held in the Penthouse Suite of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Hosted by race director Tim Hopkins and Harold Munro, editor-in-chief of The Vancouver Sun and Province, the front men welcomed dignitaries, elite runners and some three-dozen sponsors who help make the road race accessible for everyone.
As usual proceeds from the annual walk and run will support the paper’s Raise-a-Reader literacy program and the Harry Jerome International Track Classic, also founded by the Clements. Since 1985, more than $2.6 million has been raised for local charities.
CampOUT is more than an outdoor adventure
DECADE OF CAMP: Since its inception, UBC’s CampOUT has helped more than 800 queer, trans, two-spirit and allied youth from all over B.C. and the Yukon thrive. More than an outdoor adventure, it helps youth develop leadership skills, build self-esteem and connect to resources to support their health and well-being. Individuals return home feeling connected, celebrated for who they are and know that a sense of belonging is possible.
This year marks a milestone for the student leadership program as it prepares for its 10th instalment July 4-7.
In the early years, the camp was able to meet community needs, but as word got out, applications now far exceed (some years doubled) the 70 spots available for the five-day, four-night camp, shared camp director Anna White, speaking to donors at a recent reception hosted by founding sponsor Scotiabank. While the camp receives support from UBC’s Faculty of Education, Institute for Social Justice and UBC alumni, the majority of funds required to run the program — offered free of charge for all participants — comes from the generosity of good corporate citizens, foundations and individuals, White added.
This year’s flagship fundraiser — a cocktail party and auction — will be held on May 29. Hosted by faculty of education Dean Blye Frank at Lois Nahirney and Tom Dielschneider’s home and generously supported by Scotiabank, Lazy Gourmet and Le Vieux Pin and LaStella Wineries, organizers hope to top last year’s $75,000 haul so more kids can punch their ticket to camp. Details at campout.ubc.ca.