Superheroes of all forms stormed St. Catharines’s Burgoyne Woods for the in-person return of the Superhero Run.
The run is an annual event hosted by Niagara Children’s Centre, which raises funds to help families whose children live with physical, developmental or communication related disabilities. On average, over 5,800 families use the support of the Niagara Children’s Centre, according to director of development for the centre, Marla Smith.
Families, dressed as comic book superheroes, medical professionals and law enforcement, participated in distanced walks and runs that also offered games and activities along the way.
Last year’s walk was held virtually due to the pandemic. This year, the seventh annual run returned to an in-person format, offering distance competitive races as well as family walks for people to participate in. The event saw over $100,000 raised.
Smith said both families and staff from the centre had expressed excitement over being able to reconnect.
“We're really fortunate just to be able to kind of bridge that culture, bringing people back together again, supporting each other in person,” she said.
St. Catharines city councillor and Chair of the Niagara Children’s Centre board of directors, Matt Siscoe, who was dressed as Superman, was also in attendance at the event.
“We've been absolutely thrilled with the response,” he said.
“(Over) $100,000 raised is mind blowing to me, mind blowing to a lot of us, that the community came together again this year, but in such an incredible way,” Siscoe said.
One of the families in attendance this year were the Hermans, who raised over $7,500 for the event under the team name, Team Super Jacob.
Bryan Hermans is father to seven-year-old Jacob Hermans, who began attending the children’s centre for his occupational and speech language therapy when he was four.
Hermans said he felt it is important to support the centre — “a place that’s done so much for Jacob" — on behalf of his family.
Hermans said when his son was younger, he would barely speak. “Now, with the help of them, he never shuts up,” he laughed.
Hermans encouraged others to participate in future runs, not only for the benefit of others, but also because the event is great for family fun and athletic competition.
Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News