Byron Bradley, director of Central Alberta Mustard Seed, said Red Deer PCN Women’s Fun Run raises awareness of The Mustard Seeds’ programs as well as funding for its school lunch program.

Byron Bradley, director of Central Alberta Mustard Seed, said Red Deer PCN Women’s Fun Run raises awareness of The Mustard Seeds’ programs as well as funding for its school lunch program.

UPDATED: Preparations underway for Red Deer PCN Women’s Fun Run

Proceeds to The Mustard Seed

The Mustard Seed’s school lunch program will once again benefit from fundraising by Red Deer PCN Women’s Fun Run.

Last year, the lunch program received $20,653 from the Fun Run to provide healthy lunches to 350 to 380 students at 32 schools.

“It’s about $1,000 a day to run the school lunch program. Demand is definitely going up. The economy has still not completely rebounded from about 2008. Unemployment rates are definitely going down. The economy overall does look like it’s improving. It takes a long time for the community to bounce back,” said Byron Bradley, director of Central Alberta Mustard Seed, Tuesday at a Fun Run awareness event held at The Mustard Seed.

The organization took over the school lunch program in 2016 when it replaced Loaves and Fishes.

Fun Run race director Val Jensen said Red Deer has a lot of vulnerable citizens including children. The fun run will be held May 12.

“Children need to eat – period. You can’t learn if you’re hungry. If your brain is hungry. It’s like breathing. You need to eat,” Jensen said.

She said The Mustard Seed has done great work in Calgary where it’s operated for 34 years. It’s still fairly new to Red Deer, but it’s already helping a lot of children.

Red Deer PCN Women’s Fun Run welcomes participants of all ages and abilities to come out for the one, three, five or 10 km walk or run. There’s also a one km Mom & Sons Run/Walk, a 500-metre Little Ladies Race for four to five year olds, and 100-metre Diaper Dash for two to three year olds.

Since 2012, the Fun Run has raised more than $50,000 for local charities from personal donations and proceeds from the event.

This year the 10 participants who raise the most money will be entered into a draw to win a four-month or 8,000-km lease on a brand new Cadillac ATS-V donated by Kipp Scott GMC Cadillac Buick.

Held on the Mother’s Day weekend and sponsored Red Deer Primary Care Network, the run is held to inspire women to be more active.

“We had 1,200 ladies last year and I’d love to see us hit 2,000 this year,” Jensen said.

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