It’s about to get ugly in downtown Sydney.
The third annual Ugly Sweater Run will be held December 14 in hopes of raising toys this Christmas for dozens of Cape Breton area children who ended up at Transition House this year after suffering a family crisis.
Like other years, the 5 km fun run will begin and end at Governor’s Restaurant on the Esplanade and follow a double-loop around Sydney’s north end. Participants are asked to bring an unwrapped toy suitable for a boy or girl aged newborn to teen, or $20 in lieu of a toy, and wear their ugliest or funniest Christmas attire for a chance to win bragging rights (and possibly, some shaming) as well as free brunch.
New this year is the involvement of Sheldon Nathanson’s Law offices in Whitney Pier, Sydney River and New Waterford, according to event organizers.
“We are pleased to announce that Sheldon Nathanson’s Law offices has teamed up with us to receive toys from anyone who wants to help children but don’t want to run,” said co-organizer Tera Camus of Service Canada. “He is a good friend to us and does a lot of great community work, not the least of which is the joy and laughter he brings to children and adults every year with his 165 fully costumed Disney characters you see at Christmas parades and hospitals this time of year in the CBRM.”
Toys do not have to be wrapped and all money donated will be provided to Transition House to help those women and children in the greatest need, said co-organizer Wendy Martin of CBC Radio.
“This event is lots of fun, but it has a serious purpose, and that is to help children in our area who are less fortunate,” Martin said. “Usually runners pay a registration fee to enter a race. This event gives runners the option to buy a gift for a child, and spread some cheer.”
Toys can be dropped off before the mid-December event from Monday to Friday at any of Sheldon Nathanson’s law offices located at 797 Victoria Road in Whitney Pier, 3316 Plummer Ave in New Waterford or 1290 Kings Road in Sydney River.
Organizers are hoping the public will once again dig deep to help children they don’t know get through a time when there’s a lot of pressure on single moms to provide gifts.
This year’s run will begin at 10am followed by brunch at 11am with the male and female winners of the ugliest (or most hilarious attire) having a meal on the organizers’ tab.
Last year, about 60 gifts and $300 was donated to Transition House before Christmas to help about 40 families.