The Modo 8k, Take a Hike and the Healthy, Connected City
The following is from a speech given during the Awards Ceremony at the Modo 8k, March 23 at the Stanley Park Pavilion, by Modo Marketing Director Hilary Henegar (pictured above on race day):
I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge that we are on the unceded traditional lands of the Coast Salish people. What a privilege it is to be here today.
And what a race! It was quite a thrill to run along such a beautiful course as part of an enormous pack of runners. I’m reminded once again of the treasure we have here with Stanley Park and the gift our predecessors left us by preserving it as they did from development so early in the city’s history.
As a not-for-profit community organization, Modo works with a variety of community partners to increase livability and quality of life in the region through carsharing and shared events.
When Canada Running Series approached us to come on board as title sponsors of its beloved Spring Run-Off 8k, we were thrilled for the opportunity.
It’s a fun, community-oriented, eco-conscious race in an important location, run by those who gravitate toward group runs and community service. The run really embodies the Healthy Connected city that is so much in line with the values of our member-owned carshare co-op.
Everyday through carsharing, Modo members celebrate the healthy connected city. The city with less congestion, easy access to active modes of transportation, abundant green space, clean air, and a strong community of sharers. Sharing not only saves money, but it also helps to reduce the need for more roads, protecting vital green spaces like Stanley Park, farmland and wild spaces outside the city limits.
Started not too far from where we stand today, in the West End, 17 years ago, with 16 members and two vehicles, Modo has grown to almost 10,000 members and drivers sharing several hundred vehicles, across the Lower Mainland.
Our mission is to reduce impact for the region as a whole, and we do that by replacing privately owned vehicles with shared ones.
Sponsoring the Modo Spring Run-Off 8k has come with many privileges, not the least of which was bringing on an inspiring charity partner.
Take a Hike Foundation is a true success story, transforming the lives of “at-risk” youth through experiential education, therapy and community involvement. Every week, the Take a Hike students spend a full day outdoors, developing a relationship with nature, learning how to be stewards of the land. They also spend a full day each week in community, contributing to the health and well-being of their neighbourhoods.
It’s no wonder the program has been so successful in helping its students to graduate with a strong sense of self, life skills that will serve them their whole lives, and a habit of volunteerism – hallmarks our Healthy, Connected city!
I encourage all of you to check out their booth as part of the Community Fair in the ballroom, which features several of Modo’s other 60+ community partners, including the Vancouver Tool Library, Vancouver Farmers Markets, Maker Mobile, HUB and Victory Gardens. There’s also a photo booth!
Also, you’ll see Take a Hike students handing out fresh, organic locally grown apples around the Pavilion. Please say hello and consider making a donation to this important organization today.
Thank you, Clif and Tom from Canada Running Series, for your incredible work organizing a slick, sustainable and super fun race. And thanks to all your runners for inspiring me to run harder than I would have on my own. In fact you’ve so inspired me, I may just try for the Scotia Half in June!
(Photo by Trevor Jansen)