The 5 km Bronco Kalvi Memorial, Walk, Run, Backpack Challenge has evolved over the years, from its humble beginnings in the ravine between WESCAM headquarters and our neighbours, Fern Hill School, in Burlington. It was originally a trail run complete with dirt, log jumping and a small creek!
Now, the Burlington run has evolved, and while it still takes place on both Wescam and Fern Hill properties, we have strived to make the run better marked, safer, better organized, in order to encourage more employee participation.
Don Mills joined in a few years ago. “I heard about the run when I joined WESCAM, and I joined to have fun with my coworkers and for a good cause,” explained Gina Corpuz who plans to do more runs in the future. “Walking and running with co-workers makes us unstoppable, and we beat the heat,” she added.
Meantime, Quazi Faisal explained that he “felt the need to raise funds for Wounded Warriors, and I didn’t have to go to the gym that day. I’d rather spend the time for a good cause and have fun with colleagues at the same time.” Burlington-based Deanna Dusurealt echoed his statement saying she registered for the 5 km event “because it is nice to get out with fellow employees and have some fun.”
Over the past seven years, representatives from Hamilton Police, Halton Regional Police, the Canadian Armed Forces and WWC have joined in the event. David Macdonald of WWC was the first to do the course with a backpack, which has now become an essential part of the event. Sealed bags are loaded with sand and then participants add them to their own packs; there is no minimum or maximum requirement, so any soreness the next day is purely self-induced!
Committee Co-Chair, Scott Eisbrenner, reflected on his role, “Planning this event for the last 4 years has been a rewarding experience. It’s humbling to see engaged employees and guests participate. It is great to see them all have some fun as they complete their laps of the course. It is also comforting to know that the funds we raised will be assisting someone in need. Our employee’s efforts will help the healing process of a Veteran or a First Responder, and their families.”
This event also allows us to remember our late friend, and colleague Bronco Kalvi. Bronco was a Master Warrant Officer in the Canadian Forces in RCEME (Royal Canadian Electrical & Mechanical Engineers) before becoming the Manager and cornerstone of our Optics department in Burlington. He spent many years making technical decisions, guiding and leading his employees from the frontlines. He was often found with tools in his hands, building and adjusting optics payloads & assemblies. His employees appreciated his straightforward approach and leadership by example.
Bronco’s wife Linda Kalvi kicked off the Burlington 5km and walked along the route with his son Curtis, Neil Pike of WWC and Halton Regional Police Constable Hughes. This year, we had 24 participants in Burlington, and another 17 participants in Don Mills.
WWC offers assistance programs for victims and their families combining gateway programming, clinical support, research and mental health promotion to help transform the lives of uniformed service personnel and their families. Their work has made a huge impact in saving marriages, healing mental wounds and saving lives. We are pleased to give our assistance to such a noble cause, and we will endeavor to continue with our fundraising events. Stay tuned for the 8th annual event, schedule for next spring 2020.
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