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Shoppers 'Love. You. Run for Women' set for Sunday morning; supporting Stella’s Circle's mission and programs

Lisa Browne, CEO of Stella’s Circle and Bob Fearon, district manager for Shopper’s Drug Mart N.L. met on Monday to put the final touches on the Shoppers Love. You. Run for Women scheduled for Sunday morning at Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John’s. The event will help fund programs at the Naomi Centre for young women and the Just Us Women’s Centre. The deadline for online registration is today (Tuesday) and anyone who misses this deadline can register on Sunday morning at the event site.
Lisa Browne, CEO of Stella’s Circle and Bob Fearon, district manager for Shopper’s Drug Mart N.L. met on Monday to put the final touches on the Shoppers Love. You. Run for Women scheduled for Sunday morning at Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John’s. The event will help fund programs at the Naomi Centre for young women and the Just Us Women’s Centre. The deadline for online registration is today (Tuesday) and anyone who misses this deadline can register on Sunday morning at the event site. - Sam McNeish

The City of St. John’s and its residents and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador have long had a commitment to supporting women’s mental health initiatives.

Continuing that support will be displayed on Sunday, June 24 when for the third consecutive year, the Shoppers Love. You. Run for Women event will be held at Quidi Vidi Lake.

“This event is perfect as it focuses squarely on our mission, so when Shopper’s approached us with the project, it was easy to get involved,’’ Lisa Browne, CEO of Stella’s Circle said.
“There will be more than 1,000 people there on Sunday, promoting physical and mental health, everyone’s health. We are looking at the entire person,’’ she added noting how the Shoppers program has made an impact on the Stella’s Circle organization.

She said the Naomi Centre offers young women, ages 16-29, many choices in programs that help them as they progress in their lives, things like sexual exploitation and how to identify and avoid it.

It also helps to expand the Just Us program by increasing staff and resources.

“We are also able to be there and support each other and answer questions like ‘Why is this important’ and ‘What are you running for,’ “ she said in addition to just stimulating conversation among participants about women’s issues.

A number of programs will be the benefactor of the funds raised during this event including the women’s mental health programs at Stella’s Circle, such as its Naomi Centre emergency shelter for young women (ages 16 – 29), and the Just Us Women’s Centre which works with criminalized women in the community and in the NL Correctional Centre for Women in Clarenville.

“Our focus is on women’s health,’’ Bob Fearon, district manager for Shopper’s Drug Mart N.L. said Monday.
“The Run For Women will take place in 17 cities nationwide this year with more than 21,000 participants. St. John’s is the last run,’’ he added.
Fearon said this is the third year the event has supported Stella’s Circle, what he called a great community organization.

He said the stores in and around St. John’s and two additional participants from Gander and Corner Brook will be part of the 90 or more representatives from Shoppers taking part.
Fearon said the Run For It program is also being introduced in high schools across the province and he expects more than 150 students from approximately a dozen schools to be in attendance.

“Exercise and regular running is proven to promote good mental health,” he said.

“As part of our goal it ties everyone together, promotes health and raises awareness of health issues as well.”

The run raised $57,000 in 2017 and Stella’s Circle was pleased to be named as the benefactor again this year.
There are several programs the Shoppers run funding supports, one of which is a new running group for the Stella’s Circle women participants to learn to run or walk leading up to the event.

These nine women have met over the past seven weeks of the eight-week training cycle to increase or improve their walking or running capabilities.

In addition, each participant was provided with proper running gear including sneakers, which were fitted at the Running Room.
“The women in our participant running group women have never been part of any kind of team before,” Amy Sheppard, a social worker and running group leader at the Just Us Women’s Centre said.

“It is amazing to see the group members encouraging each other to connect, exercise, and improve their mental health in the process,” she added.

Mental health is an important topic for so many people these days and the Run for Women is a great opportunity to do something fun and inspiring for women’s personal mental health, while helping others in the community at the same time.
“Just the empowerment for our participants. It doesn’t matter if they are walking or running, they just feel so much better about themselves by doing it. For a lot of people suffering mental health issues, getting out of bed is a difficult task, let along walking or running.”

It not only raises money, but it also gets these people into a community, a caring community, one that if you train with them and all of a sudden you miss, someone in that group is going to reach out and find out why.

“It is because you matter and for our participants, it is exciting for them to be part of this.”

Browne said the day is also a great family event, in particular the Little Steps participants. This will see moms bring their children and perhaps a grandmother or two, to walk around the lake and promote family interactions.

And like many running and walking events, the participants put their own stamp on team events. It could be through the team wearing costumes, some extremely innovative and obscure — as can be the team names which can be equally creative.

samuel.mcneish@thetelegram.com

Registration growing

The Shoppers Love. You. Run for Women, is organized in partnership with the Running Room and experience St. John’s commitment to supporting women’s mental health.

There are more than 700 people registered for the Run for Women and the numbers are increasing quickly.

For more information or to register, go to the website at: www.runforwomen.ca. Please note that Tuesday, June 19 is the final day to register online. Others wishing to participate can register the morning of the walk at Quidi Vidi Lake.

The following are times and divisions for the event:

When: Sunday, June 24, 2018

Where: Quidi Vidi Lake, starting at The Legion

Times: 8:30 a.m.: 1K Little Steps, 8:55 a.m.: Welcome and Warm-up, 9:15 a.m.: 10K start, 9:30 a.m.: 5K start.

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