Our wonderful volunteers make the BRIGHT Run possible. Many of them volunteer at the event itself; others participate year-round in a variety of roles. We couldn’t do it without them all!
This month, meet Sylvia Chitty, 70, of Hamilton. Sylvia retired in 2014 from her position as a resource coordinator for Developmental Services of Ontario.
Why/how did you originally get involved with BRIGHT Run? What kinds of volunteer duties did you perform?
I became involved as I wished to give back in appreciation of the excellent health services, support and care I received at the Juravinski Cancer Centre (JCC).
I was made first aware of volunteer opportunities by Kathie Ward, my first chemo nurse at the JCC.
I was invited by a friend from my dragon boating team to join her volunteer group at the BRIGHT Run. We offered all those attending water and granola bars and offered the refreshments as participants were on the track running/walking/cycling and as they reached the end to celebrate their efforts.
The next year I volunteered with others to organize, fold and package T- shirts and reward items ahead of the BRIGHT Run.
The following year I became involved with community partners who were interested in providing display/exhibit tables to promote useful health services to those experiencing breast cancer. I gathered information of those wishing to be involved and followed up with details/expectations of the event at the Dundas Valley Conservation area. On event day I welcomed and was available for questions whilst they shared helpful information with all interested participants.
In 2020, due to the challenges of that year, I joined others at Lime Ridge Mall parking lot to package gift items for the BRIGHT Run event. A few days later, I volunteered at Liuna Station to help organize and distribute T-shirts for participants who were creatively planning to participate in the event.
If you could summarize your BRIGHT Run experience in one word, what would it be?
How would you describe your BRIGHT Run experience to people considering volunteering with BRIGHT Run?
My first experience as a walker in 2012 with my daughter and family was emotional on so many levels. I looked across at the PINK of life’s moment and imagined all the stories, journeys of grief, joy and hope. The music, smiles and laughter bought tears to my heart and I knew I was not alone, whatever the outcomes. From that moment I knew I wanted to offer myself in some way that would help and promote such a worthy event that would lead to necessary funds to support the cause.
Volunteering with people with similar mindset is and will continue to be an amazing and uplifting experience.