FDU(A) gears up for annual run to support Christmas Daddies
By Ryan Melanson,
Members of Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic) are getting set to continue a long-running tradition that focuses on fitness, camaraderie, and giving back to the community.
Despite the continuing challenges presented by COVID-19, the annual Navy Divers’ Run, in support of the Christmas Daddies Telethon, will still be taking place this holiday season. FDU(A) personnel will be running a total of 50 kilometres on December 5, completing laps around the unit’s main building in Shearwater, rather than taking the event out into the community as usual.
“There are a handful of activities we do as a unit that really mean a lot to us, and that we wanted to hold on to this year. This is one of them, so we came up with some responsible ways to make this event happen,” said LCdr Neville Lockyer, FDU(A)’s Commanding Officer.
“We’ve been working hard to find ways to do our jobs in the face of COVID and accomplish all that we would normally accomplish, while still abiding by all the risk mitigation measures and staying safe. As divers, we have no problem facing a challenge, and this is just another challenge.”
With the divers staying close to their home base for the run itself, they also had to think outside of the box in terms of donations, and reaching members of the community to encourage them to contribute to the fundraiser. The unit has established a Go Fund Me page for donations and will be doing the majority of canvassing virtually. Since first getting involved with the telethon in 1983, the men and women of FDU(A) have brought in more than $313,000 in donations through the Navy Divers Run. Previous iterations have taken place through the streets of HRM, from Halifax to Truro, and even across Halifax Harbour as a swimming event.
“We’re an extremely busy group of people, but this is one of the ways each year that we can come together, do something good for others, and have some fun and enjoy the camaraderie at the same time,” LCdr Lockyer said.
“It’s a great event for us. It’s a worthy cause, we’re helping out families and kids, and it feels good to be involved, so we wanted to make sure we could continue that this year.”
Money raised for Christmas Daddies is used to provide toys, gifts, food and other important items for less fortunate children in our area, with distribution handled by The Salvation Army. According to the organizers, the telethon was able to help 14,000 Maritime children with funds raised from last year’s event.
To support Christmas Daddies and the Navy Divers Run, visit https://ca.gofundme.com/f/navy-divers-50K. The 57th Annual Christmas Daddies Telethon will be broadcast on December 5 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on CTV, with a livestream on the web at https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/.