Nation Valley News
INGLESIDE — The Stephanie Grady Memorial Run drew more than 200 people who jogged the trail between the Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary and the Long Sault Parkway as a fundraiser for Camp Erin Eastern Ontario.
“She completed many runs through this area. We would come here, and she loved to run,” recalled Nick Grady of his late wife and mother of their three young children, as the final few participants crossed the finish line Oct. 1.
Stephanie Grady would have turned 35 years old last weekend if not for the rare form of cancer took her life in May 2014.
Last year at this time, family and friends organized a memorial walk through the trails at the Sanctuary, where a pavilion has been named in honour of the deceased.
This year, the annual commemoration evolved into a run between the Sanctuary and the entrance to the Parkway, several kilometres to the east. “It combines two of her passions, family and friends, and running,” said Nick Grady, a teacher at Rothwell-Osnabruck School, while runners enjoyed a barbecue picnic nearby. Freewill donations at the meal raised money for the Friends of the Sanctuary’s ongoing boardwalk rehabilitation project.
Representatives from Carefor, the organization that staffs non-profit Camp Erin Eastern Ontario, were on hand to explain the camp’s services to bereaved children. “Events such as this are a huge help to support the camp,” said Nicole Bissonnette of that morning’s run.
“The transformation of the children and their families is so moving … I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about it,” Bissonette said.
Beyond the South Stormont venue, that day’s event in Stephanie Grady’s memory was also replicated by friends and family in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Alberta and France, said her sister, Crystal Doyle.
In the video below, Carefor’s Melanie Binette and Nicole Bissonnette talk about Camp Erin.
Also appearing are Nick Grady and Friends of the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary Chuck Clavet.