Butterfly Run Quinte returns to Belleville May 7
Runners and families can help others dealing with pregnancy and infant loss by supporting the second-annual Butterfly Run Quinte May 7 at West Zwicks Centennial Park’s Lions Pavilion.
Last year the run’s founders launched the event with the goal of raising $5,000 for supports at Belleville General Hospital, home of the regional maternity department, also known as Quinte 7.
But the inaugural run raised more than $76,000, stunning founders Barb Matteucci and Loralee McInroy of Stirling and Belleville’s Beth Primeau.
They used the funds to create bereavement kits: shoebox-size packages full of information, personal messages and various supplies for mothers and families dealing with miscarriages or the deaths of infants. The kits are distributed in the maternity department plus the emergency departments of Quinte Health Care hospitals in Belleville, Trenton, Bancroft and Picton. Proceeds from the run also covered the cost of sensitivity training for staff via the Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Network.
“We’ve had really positive feedback from nurses as well as from people who’ve experienced a loss,” said Primeau.
An estimated 600 people attended the first run last April at Belleville’s Jane Forrester Park.
“So far it seems like the momentum is still there,” Primeau said.
“Our goal this year is to raise $100,000. It’s pretty ambitious.”
Organizers are again working in partnership with the Belleville General Hospital Foundation, the organization funding the purchase of all medical equipment.
“The money this year will be going to the pediatric bereavement fund, which will continue to fund training for the staff as well as provide money for the kits that we do. As well, funds will go toward needed equipment for Quinte 7,” Primeau said.
“It’s something that’s going to continue to happen to people in our community so we want to make sure the programs are in place to support them when it does happen.”
The run has also helped to raise awareness for two PAIL support groups in the area: one dealing with loss and another for mothers who are pregnant following a loss.
Last year’s run helped to open a public conversation about such difficult subjects and Primeau said that’s led to more people seeking support. She said it’s even led to aid for people before an expected loss occurs.
Runners interested in receiving the technical (athletic) shirt emblazoned with the run’s logo must register by April 1.
Registration on run day will begin at 8 a.m. at the park’s Lions Club Pavilion (near the northwest parking lot). Opening ceremonies, including a moment of silence, will start in the pavilion at 9. The short walk for families starts at 9:30 a.m., with the five- and 10-km runs beginning at 10 a.m.
An online silent auction is also being organized for the run’s Facebook page.
To register for the run and, if desired, set up a page to gather pledges, visit butterflyrunquinte.ca. More information is also available at facebook.com/ butterfly runqu in te.
And for more about the PAIL Network’s support programs, visit pailnetwork.ca or call 1-888-3017276.
Runners begin the five-kilometre stretch of the Butterfly Run at Jane Forrester Park in Belleville in May 2016. This year's run will be in West Zwicks Centennial Park May 7, but early registration ends April 1. The run funds supports for families follow pregnancy and infant loss.