By Darren Lum
Places for People (P4P) is the real winner of the Highland Yard run.
Its long-time organizer Jack Russel said the annual event is important to the not-for-profit organization, which helps to create affordable housing opportunities for people in the Highlands.
“The Highland Yard continues to be the major fundraiser for Places for People and the need for affordable housing continues to be a critical issue – money raised goes directly to Places for People as it transitions from managing single dwellings to a multi-unit dwelling [planned] in Haliburton on Wallings Road. [It will provide] individuals/families with secure housing [and] is crucial for their ability to manage life transitions,” he wrote in an email.
Russel adds the run and its fundraising aspect provides individuals an opportunity to connect with the community and fulfill the need to support affordable housing in Haliburton County.
“This has always been our goal since 2012 when P4P offered the Highland Yard. Of course, we have also wished to provide a great measured race for those who wish to compete and achieve their personal best time in either the five kilometre or 10 kilometre distances,” he wrote.
There are also options such as a two kilometre and freestyle “runs” that don’t require any running, including the 7.3 kilometre “Heritage” distance. Registration is open for the event. See website www.highlandyard.ca for more information and to register.
The virtual run enables participants to complete their distances and whatever they choose to do for the event wherever they are, as it has been the last two years.
He said, “The committee decided in March to offer another virtual run given the uncertainty of COVID, but we also wished to bring people together, thus the celebration event at Abbey Gardens.”
The celebration is on Sept. 10 and recognizes the 50 year history of the run, as it was formerly known as the Heineken Yard, which ended with a celebration at the Rockcliffe Tavern in Minden.
“Had it not been for two staff members from Camp Onondaga, who were having a day off enjoying lunch at the Rockcliffe and betted that one could beat the other in a race from the camp to the Rockcliffe, this race would not be what it is,” he wrote. “We wish to celebrate this history! So, on Sept. 10, there will be speeches, food, live music, a one kilometre race for the kids, an opportunity to Pet The Ponies, and the awarding of the Dave Jones Fundraising Award. Dave Jones was a long-time runner in the ‘Yard’ and over the past 10 years fundraised around $40,000 for Places for People. When he died, he bequeathed $10,000 to P4P. Dave was a huge advocate for affordable housing in Haliburton County and believed strongly in the mission of Places for People.”