(Victoria Fire Rescue/Jay Wallace Images)

Firefighters from four Greater Victoria detachments will be participating in a relay walk to raise money for local children and youth organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event will take place at the Oak Bay High School track on June 27, starting at 11 a.m.

Over a 24 hour period, firefighters dressed in full turnout gear from Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Saanich and Victoria Fire Departments will be walking around the track.

According to Trent Frenkel—firefighter by day, Executive Director for the Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation by night—around 30 firefighters from across the CRD will be participating in the event.

Annual fundraisers hosted by firefighters in the region normally raise money for organizations like the BC Burn Fund, Victoria Hospital Foundation, Santa’s Anonymous.

However this year, with regular charitable activities put on hold due to the pandemic and more and more organizations facing a shortfall of donations, Frenkel said the committee decided to widen the net and focus on charities that benefit youth.

The group aims to raise $250,000, all of which will be donated to the Victoria Youth Empowerment Society, Power To Be, KidSport Greater Victoria, and the Times Colonist Literacy Fund, among others.

“Everyone’s on board and everyone’s super excited that we are able to keep going and do some sort of fundraising amidst everything,” said Frenkel in a phone call with Victoria Buzz.

He says the inspiration to do laps around the high school track came from a 101-year-old gentleman in Oak Bay who did 101 laps of the courtyard at Carlton House to raise money for charity.

“With all of our fundraisers being cancelled, we had to do something different and this was something that sparked an interest.”

Up to 50 spectators will be allowed to attend the event in person in order to fall within provincial health guidelines, and donations on site will be taken via tap and a cash donation box.

Anyone else who wishes to contribute can do so at charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/going-round-in-circles.

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