On Sunday, May 3, Threads of Life will hold its second annual Lloydminster Steps for Life - Walking for Families of Workplace Tragedy event.
“At some point, somebody is going to be affected by some sort of a workplace tragedy, whether it’s through a friend, a family or a co-worker,” said Jennifer Keach, chairperson at the Lakeland Regional Safety Committee (LRSC).
Steps for Life is organized by Threads of Life, which is a sub-committee of the LRSC. While the annual walk has taken place in communities throughout Canada for several years, it was introduced to Lloydminster for the first time in 2014.
The five-kilometre Steps for Life walk raises money for the Threads of Life Family Support programs and services, which helps those impacted by workplace tragedy cope with the situation.
“Threads of Life opens up avenues and grief counselling to more than just direct family members,” Keach said. “They extend the counselling to best friends and cousins and aunts and uncles, those other people that are affected by workplace tragedy. It’s not just the person that is injured.”
Threads of Life hopes to attract at least 100 participants to this year’s walk. Keach says that while online registration currently sits around 20 walkers, she remains confident that numbers will rise as May 3 nears.
“Last year, we only had seven walkers registered online and we had over 50 show up,” she said.
In fact, Threads of Life ended up surpassing its local fundraising goal in 2014, as the walk netted $231 more than the $5,000 target. This year, Threads of Life has set its goal at $7,500 and has already accumulated $6,495 though sponsorships, pledges and registration.
Last year’s experience was both rewarding and informative for organizers, according to Keach. Not only did they hit their quantitative objectives, but they established a presence in the community and a foundation on which to build going forward.
“This program is already utilized by a few local families,” said Keach. “The families that I spoke to were really excited that they could help out and help raise funds for something that they’ve already personally used.
“We did figure out last year that we have a lot of community support and this year we’ve promoted a little more. Once we got the first one off the ground, it was a little easier to maintain, and now we’ve really promoted, we’ve set up a couple tables at trade shows and we’ve got a lot more awareness.”
Threads of Life supports more than 2,000 people across the country. Last year, 4,300 walkers raised over $650,000 across Canada. The Steps for Life walk will begin around 10 a.m. at Bud Miller Park. Registration costs $15 per person and runs - or walks - up until the morning of the event.