Rain doesn’t stop Annual Zombie Run fundraiser

SIX NATIONS — Each year, many festivities in the spirit of Halloween are eagerly awaited as costume parties, trunk or treats and more fill the community.

And one of the most anticipated events each year has been the Annual Six Nations Zombie Run, where spooks, ghouls and scares collide on a 5km track. The run is set up to offer a night-time sprint or stroll through creepy obstacles while being haunted and hunted by zombies and more. This year, the run utilized the Community Hall grounds and offered a Halloween dance with music by DJ Anonymous to finish the evening.

But what makes this event a staple of Halloween within Six Nations is not only the effort, but also the cause as runners are given the opportunity to collect sponsors to help give back.

Organizer Artie Martin along with the Zombie Committee, selected the recipient of this years funds to go to none other than the Kawenni:io/Gaweniyo Elementary School, which is continuing to work towards building their own school facility.

“This is our fifth year doing this and it originally started with me and Connie Johnson when we were talking about fundraising,” said Martin, as Johnson taught two grades within the school. “And we wanted to do a zombie run for Kawenni:io/Gaweniyo.”

However, what stopped the process was the school policy in regards to celebrating non-traditional holidays as the school is a traditional Mohawk and Cayuga immersion school.

“We understood that and it never went anywhere,” he said. “So this year, I thought it would just be good to help them — we decided as a committee that Kawenni:io/Gaweniyo would be a good place to send the money to.”

As runners made their way to the tracks, Martin described that a fog machine had cast a perfectly timed smoggy cover over the track to set the stage. But even with the light rain fall throughout the evening, the turnout welcomed tons of runners and accumulated over $2000.00 to be donated to the school.

“We have $2105.90 to give to Kawenni:io/Gaweniyo,” he said. “We also started a raffle that night which raised $210.00 so far, and that raffle will conclude at this years Santa Cause Parade as well,” with the raffle funds going to Kawenni:io/Gaweniyo as well.

The raffle offers several prizes including a two-night stay at Great Wolf Lodge, a 55 inch LG Flat-Screen and an ultimate movie and dinner package for four. With KT Gas and Convenience providing support to the run each year, they allowed for Reichert Harris to take home a PS4 Pro and a game after he collected $455.00, which was the most money raised by an individual.

After years of being moved around and placed in “hand-me-down” facilities, the Kawenni:io/Gaweniyo Elementary School found a home within the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena thanks to the generous Curt Styres. But their need for their own space and facility has remained and with the help of the community through events such as this, they are hoped to reach their goal soon.

“It seems like there’s a wave of help pushing towards Kawenni:io/Gaweniyo and we decided we wanted to be a part of that,” he said.

Martin noted that the next fundraising event for the school will be their Annual Toy Bingo coming up on November 3 at the Gathering Place by the Grand.

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