On March 5, City Council recognized the work resident Bernie Maillet has put into his goal of raising $100, 000 in ten years for the Chestermere Public Library with the annual Loop Around the Lake.
“Bernie through all of his hard work and dedication to the cause reached $98,000. This is an incredible accomplishment,” said Chestermere Mayor Marshall Chalmers.
“On behalf of council we would like to extend our appreciation to Bernie and his dedication to the library and to the community.
“Although Bernie has stepped down from his role in leading this incentive, his leading legacy will continue for years to come,” he added.
Maillet said receiving the certificate of recognition was nerve racking, but a pleasant gesture.
“It felt good, I was a little nervous. I’m not good in front of people, the most comfortable I’ve been is at the race,” he said.
He added, “After I thought about it, it is good to be recognized. I put a lot of hard effort into it.”
Councillor Cathy Burness, who volunteers for Loop Around the Lake, said, “What most people don’t realize is he spent countless hours including having to book off multiple days from his place of work, so he could work on the loop.”
“He took many trips to local businesses asking for support and donations in order to raise funds for the library,” she added.
Although Maillet didn’t reach his entire goal of $100,000 raised in a decade, he is glad to see the run is going to continue.
Maillet has great hopes for Craig and Bobbi Skrynyk who are taking over the Loop Around the Lake.
“They’re young, and motivated. They opted to go to the Running Room, which I think they’re going to get a lot more marketing and more participants,” Maillet said.
He said the organizers are capping the number of participates at 500.
“That would be crazy. The most I ever had was 178,” Maillet said.
A decade ago, the loop around the lake was only the main loop. Now it consists of an 11 km run, a 5 km run, and a 1 km scamper for children.
“The highlight was seeing the very first race start, and it was really nice was when we added the 1 km,” Maillet said.
Going forward, Maillet would like to see the community run expand to 500 participants.
“That would be awesome. It would bring more business to Chestermere. A lot of the runners are probably coming from Calgary and they will see Chestermere is a nice little city.”
For Maillet, organizing the Loop Around the Lake brought the community together, and brought businesses together to support the community.
“It brought people together, there are families that have done this every year, their kids have grown up with this race,” Maillet said.
Without the help from Burness, and the donations from sponsors including TD Bank, Chestermere Bottle Depot, Lifepath Wellness, No Frills, Safeway, Jugo Juice, the Rec Centre, and more, the Loop Around the Lake wouldn’t have been possible.
Burness said her time working with Maillet was helped her see the good in the world.
“Working with him on the loop over the past years has been very inspiring to me and proof that we can all reinvent ourselves and become better people, and make a positive contribution to this world,” she said.
“He is an amazing man and deserves much credit for starting this annual event which truly has become Chestermere’s community run.