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Each year the YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth participates in the Charity Challenge as part of the Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon – a unique fundraising program to help create a stronger future for young people and communities. This year however, we sought out some fundraising help from the community, and that’s when we met the Great West Gallopers.

Great West Life – an insurance company focused on improving the financial, physical, and mental well-being of Canadians – became interested in our cause when learning that we share similar values.  “Great West Life encourages all of their employees to be active, and advocates strongly for work-life balance” says Mike Juurlink, Regional Sales Director and Great West Galloper. Impressed by the Y’s charitable mission to build healthy kids and healthy communities, Great West Life committed to help us raise funds – and run – in the Killam Marathon Team Relay.

“I think that participating in any Blue Nose event is such an accomplishment, no matter your time or ability. Seeing all types of people giving it their all at the event is so inspiring” says Megan Thorpe, the Great West Gallopers fundraising lead. “The whole weekend has such a great vibe.”

Great West Life encourages their team to be active, and advocates strongly for work-life balance. The Great West Gallopers have been leaning on their fellow runners for support, and words of encouragement while training and fundraising. And speaking of fundraising, our Gallopers have had a lot of fun with coming up with clever ways to raise money…

Everything from bake sales to raffle draws, playoff pools to baby pools, – the Great West Gallopers have done it! The team’s fundraising efforts, together with their corporate matching program, has raised $7,600 for YMCA Strong Kids. The team at Great West Life would like to thank Pepco Fuels, Eastlink, and Nine Locks Brewing Co.  for their generous in kind donations which supported their fundraising opportunities.

We are so happy to have such a reputable company running alongside us in the Blue Nose this year – and we want to thank the Great West Gallopers: Joanne, Jon, Mike, Randall, Andrea, Melanie, Barbara, Ellen, and Megan for their dedication to our cause!  Thanks to your fundraising efforts , nearly 100 immigrant youth have been able to participate in the Youth Run and 5KM events.