Dog walk in support Maccabi Canada

B5K (1) IMG_0622 B5K (4)The first annual Dog Walk in support of Maccabi Canada’s athletes, was held on June 5th.

The Bowser 5k Dog Walk, at the Kay Gardner BeltLine Park, aimed to support Maccabi Canada’s Adopt an Athlete program, which financially supports qualified athletes to compete in the Maccabiah Games held every 4 years in Israel.

Former Maccabiah 2013 athlete, Sender Herschorn, came up with the idea of having the dog walk, and helped organize the event with the assistance of Shelley Austin, Donna Silver and John DeFinney.

According to Herschorn, the team of donors, sponsors, volunteers and committee members were the reasons why the event was a huge success:   “Possibly the best part of the event was putting it all together; we all worked well together, everyone gave their best and we all worked for the same goal so that Maccabi would be the big winner,” said Herschorn.

“Most nights, I would wake up after a few hours of sleep and have new dog walk ideas percolating in my head,” he said. “I sent emails to the team at all hours of the day and night and they always answered promptly and constructively.”

Supporting Maccabi Canada and its athletes was the motivation behind spending countless hours preparing for the dog walk for Herschorn and the committee.

“The Maccabi athletes are so lucky to have the Adopt an Athlete program,” said Silver, one of the committee members for the dog walk. Those who can’t afford to do what they love to do may now have the same opportunities as those who can.”

John DeFinney says that athletes pursuing what they love to do and finding passion through sports is crucial, which made him want to be involved with organizing this event.

“I am a chiropractor and a sport’s specialist,” he said. “I know there is huge value in participating in sports, which is why these athletes should have the opportunity of competing in the games.”

Shelley Austin, committee member and mother of former Maccabiah 2009 junior basketball player, Max Grossman, says that her son’s experience at the games opened her eyes to how valuable the Maccabi experience is for Jewish athletes.

“It is so great to unite the Jewish community globally and locally,” said Austin. “I am a firm supporter and believer in Maccabi and it is great to show it through this dog walk.”