When I was making my travel plans to Ottawa I had a look at all the events that are part of Winterlude, Ottawa’s Winter Festival, and there was one event that caught my attention right away: the 26th Annual Bed Race at Dows lake.
After a nourishing breakfast at the Lord Elgin Hotel, Theresa and I laced up our skates and made our way on the longest skating rink in the world, the 7.8 km long Rideau Canal Skateway, to Dows Lake, where the Bed Race was going to be held.
A stage and comfortable resting place for the judges of the 26th Annual Bed Race
I looked for the organizers to get a bit more information about this event and I was able to connect with Steve Georgopoulos, one of the main organizers from the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa, the organization that has been organizing the Bed Race for the last few years. Steve is also the General Manager of the Les Suites Hotel in Ottawa and has been instrumental in getting this special event off the ground.
The motto of the Kiwanis International is “Serving the Children of the World”, and they do this in a number of ways, from providing hands-on service to organizing fundraising events. Steve talked about the great sense of camaraderie that develops when people come together and donate their time to help others.
Theresa and myself with Max Keeping, the emcee, and Steve Georgeopoulos, one of the organizers
Steve explained that the race has been part of the Winterlude Festival for the past 28 years. It was originally run by the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, and revived in 2003 by the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa after the Ice Storm nixed the race in 2001, and a short hiatus in 2002.
This year the race will raise approximately $50,000 and the 2006 proceeds will go to the Kiwanis Read-A-Thon. The Precious Minds Read-a-thon is an event that is designed to encourage children to become better readers. And it does so by inspiring them to read more often, try out new books and have fun while they are doing it.
The prizes are ready