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IWK 5K run raises $35,420 in memory of Jessica

Annual Bedford event draws 443 participants

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
June 8, 2017

BEDFORD, N.S. – Jennifer Manuel spotted a double rainbow in the sky the night before the annual 5K fundraiser she held for the IWK in memory of her baby daughter Jessica.
Maybe it was to signify her twin daughters – Alyssa and Jessica – or maybe it was just to foreshadow great things to come on Sunday, June 4, when the annual IWK 5K – In Memory of Jessica raised $35,420 for the cause.
“It was fantastic, such a great day,” said Manuel. “The weather was perfect for walkers and runners, although maybe a little chilly for volunteers.”
She was touched by the generosity of the participants, many of who made a special effort to raise what they could.

Jennifer Manuel and her family presented a cheque of $21,150 at the IWK Telethon on Sunday, June 4 after raising the money at their annual IWK 5K – In Memory of Jessica earlier that day. A total of $35,420 was raised by the event, with $15,000 going to a separate neonatal intensive care project.

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Manuel

There were the small boys who went home after the run and set up a lemonade stand, raising an additional $92.
Then there was the St. John Ambulance volunteers, who accepted a donation from Manuel for helping out at the run, and then turned around and donated it back to the event.
Even the winner of the 50/50 draw gave her winnings back to the cause.
“I loved watching over everyone as I told my story and talked about the importance the IWK is for all of us,” she said. “There were a lot of happy and sad tears, because our success is their success. We all do this together.”
Following the event, Manuel and her family calculated the totals and traveled to the IWK Telethon, which was happening at the same time, and donated their cheque. A donation of $15,000 from this year’s total is going separately to a neonatal intensive care project.
In its eight-year history, the event has raised more than $200,000 for the cause.
“After the cheque presentation, myself and two of my friends volunteered on the phone for the grand finale, which is the most exciting time to be at the telethon, with all the big cheque presentations and the grand reveal,” she said. “Wheels are already turning for how I can make this better next year, and present the largest cheque to date.”