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Teens exercise to pay it forward

Teens from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows were sweating for a cause Wednesday at Thomas Haney secondary as they took part in 8-Hour: Exercise-A-Thon.

For donations of loonies and toonies, kids were able to take part in a series of events, including an exercise boot camp, a skateboarding competition, a fun run, a yoga lesson, football, and bocce ball.

Close to 80 kids under the age of 18 took part in the event, says organizer Carissa Keenan, helping to raise more than $200 for the Royal Colombian Hospital’s Pay it Forward Fund, as well as the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows youth councils.

“It was a good day, I think everyone had a lot of fun,” said Keenan.

The fundraiser was the brainchild of the kids themselves said Jen Baillie, Youth Services Children’s Programmer for parks and leisure services.

Participants in the Youth Futures Leadership Development Program decided they wanted to put on a fundraiser as part of Be The Change Week, which encourages teens to act altruistically.

“They wanted to give something back, so they came up with this themselves,” said Jen Baillie. “It’s a youth initiative, totally grassroots.”

The proceeds from the event will benefit the families of pediatric patients at Royal Colombian Hospital. Baillie says the teens in the leadership program were moved by the story of Pay It Forward Fund founder Miranda Tymoschuk, a Thomas Haney secondary 10th grader who has spent much of the past seven years in and out of surgery to correct a birth defect to her leg.

“They wanted to help anyway they could,” said Baillie.

To donate to the Pay It Forward Fund, visit

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