An Estevan family has become a top fundraiser in the individual category for the Law Enforcement Virtual Torch Run for Special Olympics in Saskatchewan.
The Walliser family – Matthew and Kirsten, and their two young boys Micah and Zeke – have raised $740 for Special Olympics, surpassing their goal of $300. The deadline to make a donation is May 31.
Kirsten said they have shared the link on social media, so friends and family from across Saskatchewan and Alberta have sponsored them.
“We’ve been tracking the boys kilometres that they cover on their bikes,” said Kirsten. “That doesn’t raise money, but it just goes towards people from all over the province who are trying to cover what would be the distance the typical torch run covers, which is 2,400 kilometres.”
The Wallisers wanted to be part of the Virtual Torch Run because Micah is a Special Olympics athlete in the Active Start program in Estevan.
“Because we can’t participate, because of COVID, we decided that we would encourage the boys to go out and ride their bikes instead,” she said.
Zeke joins his brother at sports each week because the Special Olympics athletes are allowed to bring siblings.
The family is stunned with the support they have received, with more than a week left to fundraise.
Micah has been part of Active Start since the program came to Estevan last year. His grandmother coaches, and Kirsten is on the board for the Estevan community. He said he loves sports, and his favourite part of sports is running.
“He’s raising money so that other kids can play sports, too,” said Kirsten.
Kirsten said it’s important for people to support Special Olympics Estevan because it’s one of the few programs available for kids with intellectual disabilities to be able to participate in any type of sports.
“That’s really important to us, because it also helps them create relationships and friendships that they can then benefit from at school and in the community at large,” she said.
You can visit https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/mobile/mobilePersonalPage.aspx?registrationID=4703272&Referrer=direct%2fnone&langPref=en-CA to support the Wallisers.
Estevan is also home to a top fundraiser in the team category. The Estevan Police Service had raised $5,335 for the law enforcement Torch Run, surpassing their team goal of $5,000. Much of the funds were raised earlier this month when Police Chief Paul Ladouceur and Fire Chief Dale Feser were locked up in an EPS jail cell together.
This year marks the first time that a virtual torch run has been held for Special Olympics. Law enforcement officers have held a torch run in the province for many years.