Ahmadiyya runners raise $22,000 for Canadian Blood Services

Participants in the 8th annual Run For Calgary start the 10km race at the Eau Claire Market on Sept. 14. Run For Calgary was organized by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in partnership with Canadian Blood Services to raise funds for, and awareness of, blood donation. (Photo by Labib Ahmad/The Press)

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community raised more than $22,000 on Sept. 14, from its eighth annual Run for Calgary.

The community partnered with the Canadian Blood Services to host this race at the Eau Claire Market downtown.

Just over 400 people came out to participate in the run, which had a 10 km and a 5 km run, and 3 km run/walk for kids and seniors.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has held Run for Calgary every year since 2012, partnering with various charities and non-profit organizations around the city.

This year the run supported Canadian Blood Services in its efforts to build recruitment programs that successfully engage diverse community groups and the next generation in blood donors.

Last year, they partnered with the Alberta Children’s Hospital to raise funds for kids in need.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Neshi joined the event himself, to raise awareness and participate in the run.

“I love events like this,” Nenshi said. “I love that they are just about building community together, and showing that every single one of us has something to give.”

In his opening remarks to all the attendees, Nenshi asked everyone to give the person standing next to them a high five

“What that does is build community,” he said.

“So as I leave the stage, turn to the person next to you and give them a high five, and tell them that you’re glad they’re here.”

Nenshi thanked the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for holding the run and bringing people together for a great cause.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi poses with a Canadian Blood Services sign to show support for the 8th annual Run For Calgary at Eau Claire Market on Sept. 14. Run For Calgary is organized by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in partnership this year with the Canadian Blood Services. (Photo by Labib Ahmad/The Press)

Naeem Chaudhary, from the Ahmadiyya community, said the event is not only to fund-raise but to also give back to the community.

“This year with the Canadian Blood Services, it was about raising money but more importantly it was about the awareness to save lives,” Chaudhary said.

Along with the fund-raising, information was given out to all the runners on how important it is to donate blood.

Chaudhary said the response from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been amazing.

The Canadian Blood Services said they were very thankful for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as this donation would help them in many ways.

“Blood, plasma, stem cells, organs, and tissues are a critical part of everyday medical care,” they said.

“The money that comes from the run will be put into research and innovation to better help those in need.”

Musawir Muzaffar, the winner of the 3 km run/walk, said that this was an amazing experience for him.

“It was crazy to win the race,” Muzaffar said, “and I didn’t know Nenshi was coming, so that made this win even better.”

Muzaffar is currently in Grade 8 and has attended the race every year since it was started.

“Every year I wait for the race because it’s not just about the race, we always donate to good causes that help those in need,” he said.

Participants of the 8th Annual Run For Calgary stretch out before the run at Eau Claire Market on Sept. 14. Run For Calgary is organized by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in partnership this year with Canadian Blood Services to raise funds and awareness of the growing need for blood donors. (Photo by Labib Ahmad/The Press)

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