Charlee’s Run Village Fundraises Incredible $167,000 for Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Foundation

ORILLIA, ON – More than 800 participants and over 1000 people gathered on Saturday, May 4 at Orillia’s Tudhope Park for the eighth year of Charlee’s Run, presented by Lake Country Office Solutions.

Bringing awareness to infant and pregnancy loss, the event also raises funds for paediatric and neonatal needs at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH). This year’s Charlee’s Run raised an incredible $167,000 through participant registrations, team fundraising, sponsorships, and community support.

“Even more importantly than the funds raised is the conversation that has been started,” said Mallory Holmes, event founder and mother of Charlee Clare Holmes. “A conversation to break the silence surrounding pregnancy and infant loss. This is a village of people who wrap their arms around those whose arms are empty. This village drowns out the silence so that no family feels alone.”

Charlee’s Run is named in honour of Charlee Clare Holmes, who passed away in 2011, only a few hours after her birth. Her parents, Dave and Mallory Holmes, started the run to raise awareness and end the silence around pregnancy and infant loss.

“In 2017, we held the first Charlee’s Run. We hoped to bring out 50 people and maybe raise a few thousand for the hospital Charlee called home,” said Dave Holmes, event founder, and father of Charlee Clare Holmes. “Eight years later and we have seen this small event grow to thousands of people, and as of today raise over $745,000 for OSMH.”

In addition to the village of support that Charlee’s Run provides, funds raised ensure that OSMH continues to deliver high-quality, compassionate care.

“Every year, a portion of the funds raised from Charlee’s run are dedicated to keeping the bereavement cart stocked so that we can continue to support families during their most difficult times, “said Larissa Jeffery, Registered Social Worker for the Regional Women and Children Program at OSMH.

The bereavement cart is filled with hats, blankets, teddy bears, memory kits, journals and so much more. “Many items are also donated by volunteers and families within this incredible village,” said Jeffery.

The success of this year’s run will also allow for the purchase of three new panda warmers for OSMH.

Laura Ferris, Program Director of Surgery and Women & Children at OSMH, spoke to the importance of having this advanced equipment at the hospital.

“Panda warmers are essential for providing newborns with immediate warmth, crucial monitoring, and respiratory support, if necessary, during their very first moments of life.”

The hospital currently uses a mixture of old and new warming models. “Upgrading all of our equipment to the latest technology is essential to ensuring all babies born at Soldiers’ receive standardized, consistent and high-quality care, right from the start,” said Ferris.

Support, healing, remembering, and advancing care for the tiniest members of our communities, this is the legacy of Charlee Clare Holmes, it is the power of Charlee’s Run.

Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Foundation recognizes the support of volunteers, sponsors, donors, and participants for contributing to the success of Charlee’s Run and for creating a village for so many.