Run for FUNds is back for its 4th year!

For the past 3 years, RAVEN supporters Kayci Lesosky and Sarah Legg have been organizing 5k and 10km community fun runs at Elk Lake provincial park in Victoria, with the goal of raising funds and awareness about Indigenous sovereignty.

Run for FUNds What started as a Covid 19 project for Sarah and Kayci. At the beginning of the pandemic, many of us felt the intense impacts of being on lockdown and Sarah says her “anxious energy got channeled into physical exercise.” She started running and eventually Kayci joined her as a running buddy.

As they started to run longer distances, they decided to sign up for a 10 km race. After paying the base fee to enter the race, they looked into where the money was going — assuming it was to raise money for a charity. “The full fee went towards putting on the race. And you had to pay above that to choose an organization that you wanted to donate to. Obviously there are all these costs associated with putting on a run — but I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t a fundraiser for the run.” Kayci says. 

With the support of their family, friends, and community to cover the costs of putting on the race, the Run for FUNds was born, and entire registration fees have been donated to RAVEN.

Over the years, Run for FUNds have supported the Heiltsuk and Gitxaala campaigns. This year’s event will be focusing on RAVEN’s  Wet’suwet’en campaign!

Kayci and Sarah, organizers of Run for FUNds

What sat down with Sarah and Kayci to get a recap of previous year’s events and what to expect moving forward.

What are you looking forward to the most this year?

Sarah: I’m most excited to see all of our returning participants! Over the last three years, Run for FUNds has grown into an amazing community of inclusive and enthusiastic individuals. Being immersed in that environment is a great experience.

Why did you pick the Wet’suwet’en campaign this year?

Kayci: Each year Sarah and I have prioritized local campaigns, which we have felt updated and connected to. We have worked to remain updated and involved with the Wet’suwet’en land defense movement over the past several years, and felt very passionate about this campaign.

The Run started as a covid project in 2020 for you, how has the Run grown from then to now? 

Kayci: Since our first run, we have more than tripled our numbers of participants. This has helped us to reach a much wider scope of the Victoria community, and even add an after party! The after party has become quite the highlight. It gives us the opportunity to celebrate our volunteers, runners, walkers and supporters.  This also gives us the time to continue to spread awareness about the campaign, while connecting with our participants. The environment always feels very welcoming. We all eat, dance and enjoy music together. It keeps the fun going.   

A major highlight is interacting with the participants and watching them cross the finish line. There is always so much joy (and sometimes relief). It is an incredible experience witnessing folks feel pride for their accomplishments.

You’ve fundraised for indigenous communities at the past 3 Runs, what continues to drive that action?

Sarah:  I really believe in the work being done at RAVEN Trust. As a settler, I think it’s important to support indigenous communities by uplifting their voices. All of the various campaigns at RAVEN Trust seem to do just that and prioritize the needs of each individual nation.

We are so grateful to Kayci and Sarah for choosing to fundraise in such a fun, inspiring and community centered way! This year’s run will take place on May 4th, 8:30am at Elk Lake. Register to be a part of the run in support of Wet’suwet’en!

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