Island Pacific School is swapping out suits and gowns for muddy track pants and t-shirts for this year’s annual fundraiser.
In pre-COVID times, Bowen Island’s independent school would host a grand gala to help raise funds for student scholarships. Last year, the gala was the virtual cyber soiree, with pre-recorded, live-streamed and interactive components.
This year, given the still-raging pandemic, they decided to hold an event entirely outside. And if there’s pouring rain – all the better.
In the Monsoon Madness Mudder on Nov. 20, teams of two to four people (ages 11 to 111) will take on a two-kilometre course – down Carter Road, to the Meadow, up behind Bowen Children’s Centre and Cates Hill Chapel up to the waterfalls and back to the school – with six obstacles with physical challenges (such as climbing over or under things). “Invariably, they’ll be getting muddy as they go,” says Scott Herrington, IPS’s head of school.
It’s not a mass-start event. Instead, waves of teams will run the course between 1:30 and 4 p.m.
Back at IPS, there will be a social gathering – outdoor tents, warming stations, light lunch and hot chocolate.
There’s also an online auction, raffles and draws.
The registration fee is $25 per person and, for that, one’s name goes into a draw for four nights for four people in Mexico.
“We want everyone to feel at the end like they’ve been through a nice challenge, but not an overwhelming one, and just embrace the beautiful outdoor environment that we have here at IPS.”
Dress up as a team and come in your colours, advises Herrington. There will be best-dressed and best team spirit awards. “We really want people to come out and connect with their fellow community members.”
The big fundraising goal this year is $400,000, for the construction of a community field house (the site is just a giant pit right now – perfect for a mudder.)
“We take ourselves to be community members. And we take this to be a great future venue for weddings and picnics and funerals and all sorts of things that go beyond you know, the boundary of a school day,” Herrington says.
IPS encourages everyone to sign up as early as possible (though registration is open the day of). Go to islandpacific.org for details.
The field house will be named in honour of former IPS student Colin Ruloff, who died in a tragic accident in 2018.