Stair climber to have company for fundraiser at Gingell Park

Fundraiser turns into 24-hour event this year

Dave Lemire will have some help when he once again takes on the stairs at Fred Gingell Park in Tsawwassen for a good cause.

He's got another Climb for Kids fundraiser planned next weekend. It marks the third stair climb he's spearheaded with proceeds benefiting B.C. Children's Hospital.

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"I think it might be the best one yet," said Lemire, the produce manager at Save-On-Foods in Tsawwassen.

He said the store and the community are providing plenty of support for the event, which has a twist this year in that it's a 24-hour relay that will be carried out by a team of 12 taking turns climbing in one-hour and twohour stretches. It starts on Saturday, May 6 at noon.

Lemire raised approximately $23,000 with his first two climbs. They've seen him trek up and down the stairs, which have been described as Tsawwassen's version of the Grouse Grind, nonstop for four hours. This time he'll be climbing in the early hours of Sunday from midnight to 2 a.m.

Lemire said his inspirations remain the same, his nephew Noah Stephenson (who has undergone cochlear implant surgeries) along with Myles McHattie and Johnny Racich. Lemire became friends with Racich, a young kid who would visit with him while his mom would do her grocery shopping. Racich, who had a condition called Apert's syndrome, passed away when he was 16. Lemire eventually became friends with McHattie, who gave a eulogy at Johnny's funeral.

Store manager Randy Davies, who'll be climbing on both days, said it's good to give back and raise funds for a good cause. The store will also be doing a barbecue from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Lemire said the Delta Firefighters Charitable Society is helping out again and will be running a pancake breakfast on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon.

He said Delta police Chief Neil Dubord and fire Chief Dan Copeland will drop by at 4 p.m. Saturday to tackle the stairs for an hour.

Lemire added Double R Rentals is supplying lighting and generators for the event while Tsawwassen resident Mike MacIver, who manages a Canadian Tire in Richmond, is also donating 120 feet of rope lighting.

He also added municipal director of parks, recreation and culture Ken Kuntz has been a big help.

Donations can be made at the Tsawwassen Save-On-Foods or online at the BC Children's Hospital Foundation website (www.bcchf.ca, search for Save-On-Foods Climb for Kids 3).

Fred Gingell Park is at 265 English Bluff Rd.

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