The Ponoka Fire Department is hosting a first ever run/walk fundraiser to support PTSD.

Ponoka first reponders run to raise funds for PTSD

A first ever fundraiser run to support first responders suffering from PTSD has taken off.

A first ever fundraiser run to support first responders suffering from PTSD has taken off in Ponoka.

The run was the brain child of Ponoka Fire Department (PFD) Chief Jamie Wilkinson, explained firefighter and organizer Tracy Hillaby. She ran with the idea and in a relatively short amount of time support was strong for the initiative.

“Let’s make it a relay and open it up to all first responders,” said Hillaby of the idea.

She pointed out its important to have PTSD and mental support for veterans and first responders and she wanted a way to have money go to an organization that could ensure anyone with a need for support could access it.

The idea is to bring teams of four to do a rally/walk at the Ponoka Secondary Campus track, totalling 10 kilometres (about six laps per person). Each team is asked to provide a fee of $400 with the money, and anything extra raised to go to the Heroes are Human fund.

The event is open to any team wanting to get involved and already has teams from the PFD, the Ponoka County East District Fire Department, the RCMP as well as Rip’N Ronnies. Hillaby, an avid fitness buff, says she’ll be doing the run/walk in her fire turnout gear. The protective equipment isn’t light.

Hillaby added that the Rip ‘N Ronnies team is readying itself for some long races this summer so participants plan on doing 10 kms each.

Support is coming in from corporate sponsors and from other groups looking to take part.

The event is set for May 13 and goes from 9 a.m. to noon at the Ponoka Secondary Campus track. It is open to the public and a barbecue will be held for participants after the run. for more information or to register email: makkingabrooke@gmail.com or tracyhillaby@yahoo.ca.