Everyone looks forward to different fall activities. Some people look forward to the leaves changing colour or the fall markets.

Others, however, look forward to Niagara Children’s Centre’s Annual Superhero Run, which, now in its sixth year, is being held virtually on Saturday, Oct. 3.

The run aims to raise $60,000 to support the children and families who rely on the centre’s therapy services.

The centre has currently raised $43,000 for programs and has 200 participants registered.

Families can register for the event online. They will receive swag bags loaded with freebies, a passport to track their fun, and instructions for unique activities. The bags can be picked up at the centre the week leading up to the event.

On Oct. 3, families and participants can share pictures and videos on the dedicated Superhero Run Facebook page to connect with other families or compete in person with others in their bubble.

“We know this event is a favourite for the families of our centre and members of the community,” says Oksana Fisher, CEO of the children’s centre. “We wanted to find a way to keep the spirit alive, while respecting the recommendations of our governments and health units.”

“We’re thankful that our supporters and donors remain committed to our mission of helping kids shine and were excited to join us again this year — socially distanced style,” said Fisher.

“Through this event the community is helping us to help kids in Niagara,” Fisher said. “We are very appreciative of everyone who gave.

“This is about helping as many kids as we can in Niagara be their best,” said Fisher.

There are several ways people can participate in this year’s activities. They include:

• Zoom calls with a superhero

• Make a superhero badge

• Superhero dance parties

• Superhero story time

• Community walks (meet in community at various locations, physically distanced)

• Acts of kindness bingo

There will be some changes to the running portion of the event. Families are asked to time themselves and submit times to the Superhero Run Facebook page.

All participants will receive a T-shirt and medal this year to mark their participation. There will also be contests for best-dressed and most funds raised.

The event will also include a silent auction with all funds raised from the event going toward providing therapy programs for children with special needs living in Niagara region.

“Our family and friends participate in the Superhero Run for a lot of different reasons. Mainly, we participate because it’s just so much fun for kids of all abilities! Princess Marianna gets to run alongside her typically developing peers and take part in the same activities as them, and there aren’t a lot of opportunities for that elsewhere,” said Lisa Strum, mother of centre client Marianna.

“We also love coming because it’s fun! It’s a great morning spent just watching your kids run, play and just have a great time. It’s so well organized and everyone there is smiling and truly enjoying themselves. This is one of our favourite family events of the year,” she said.

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To register for the run, or to donate to a participant’s crowdfunding campaign, you can visit www.NiagaraSuperheroRun.com. The cost to register is $20.25 for adults, $15.25 for children and infants under 2 are free.

There’s also a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NiagaraChildrensCentreSuperheroRun.

The Niagara Children’s Centre’s has helped 5,854 children this year and has had more than 41,338 visits. Some of the core services it provides include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology and social work.

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