It started as a dream, one that was dismissed as impossible or unfeasible. Despite the difficulties, Canadian Blood Services’ Edmonton Youth Committee volunteers have been pursuing their dream of linking active lifestyles and blood donation for the past five years.

The idea started off as simple but scattered: create a run or walk that would benefit patients in need of blood. With the strong leadership of the Youth Committee and the greatly appreciated sponsorship of Canadian Blood Services and Running Room staff, this grass-roots vision evolved into something greater: Stride – the walk for blood. Unique from other runs, Stride encourages participants to collect pledges for blood donation, which can directly save lives.

Stride takes place in mid-August at Edmonton’s Laurier Park and includes a run/walk followed by a free barbecue and numerous prizes. All participants who collect one or more pledges for blood donation receive a race pack with a T-shirt and red shoe laces. At only $12.50 anyone in Edmonton can register online, at the permanent Canadian Blood Services Clinic, or at any Running Room location.

The second annual event this past August saw 197 participants gathered to save up to 513 lives. The Youth Committee is already eagerly planning a third annual event for 2013.

Walt Disney once said “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” The dream of Stride – the walk for blood became a reality thanks to the dedication and persistence of volunteers, staff and eager participants, who want to make a direct impact in the lives of those in need. Together we can all stride towards saving more lives. Spread the word and help the Youth Committee achieve their next dream of expanding the event from its humble beginnings in Edmonton to a national endeavour.