One of the hardest things we humans do, is to give of our time, effort and fortune without expectation of personal return or benefit. When a large group cohesively decides doing so is the right thing to do, someone should let others know. So keep reading!
On Sunday, September 11th (yes the same date as the Americans recognize for the destruction of the World Trade Centre towers) at 0800 hrs setup and registration began for the Walk for Valour. What is the Walk for Valour about? It’s about a little known centre of excellence on 111th Ave in Edmonton called Valour Place where in care is given to Military and RCMP members in much the same way Ronald McDonald House does. Many years ago it was decided to address the shortcoming in the “health system” where it concerned these employees. The following statement is taken from the front page of the Valour Place Website, “Valour Place is a temporary home away from home for all Canadian Forces members, RCMP, Families of the Fallen, Veterans and First Responders along with their families who require medical treatment in Edmonton, and live outside the city/area. Through Valour Place, they have the means to face the challenges of rehabilitation in a warm, welcoming and supportive environment, at no cost. Valour Place, the first of its kind in Canada, will be sustained through long term leases, donations, endowment income and special events. Valour Place is located in Edmonton’s Kingsway District, known as Edmonton and Western Canada’s Medical, Health and Wellness destination. Landmark Group is very pleased to be the builder of Valour Place.” God Bless those who were visionary enough to act for those who could not.
RCMP K Division HQ opened their doors for a pancake breakfast for all participants. The Canadian Military provided their field kitchen and staff to make the delicious meal on this cold September morning. The Running Room is a continual player in the yearly fund raiser. This event wouldn’t be the same without their kind support and hard working individuals. All the law enforcement fist responders were present (even the RCMP safety bear) to ensure supporters safety as the walk moved through the City of Edmonton. As you can see, in the photo’s, a large contingent of Military personnel were taking part.
When I started photographing everyone, I had been provided a wish list of areas to photograph the participants. The main characters I recognized from last year, but I was not provided any other details. So I ensured that the add on to the days events was to give everyone the ability to obtain their photo as a participant. Best I could do considering. So on I went. The First Responders seemed to know who I was and allowed me latitude to obtain shots of the Walk. The longest leg of the walk is five miles, from Valour Place through the river valley area and back. From strollers to senior Veterans, all made the circuit. No medical attention required.
At the rear of Valour Place is a park area. Each year the park is filled with tents and equipment to provide a warm lunch for the participants. Last year it was hosted by the Sawmill Restaurant. This year, Chilli’s Restaurant hosted the lunch. The military tent was heated with tables inside for those who needed to sit. The military band was inside the tent playing wonderful music to please everyone. There were dignitaries who spoke and an auction. All proceeds went to Valour Place. Of most significance was the member who’s wife gave birth to a premature baby, He read the story of what transpired and how Valour Place rescued him from having to live in the rear of his van while in Edmonton with his wife and child at the Royal Alex. It really brought a tear forward hearing of Valour Place’s generosity and support. The new baby took part in the Walk for Valour with the rest of his family.
If there’s a way you too can help support Valour Place, please do so. Check out the Facebook pages for all these items noted within this text. Enjoy.