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Southlake's 5K virtual run raises $316K

Undaunted by the new format, 850 participants raised funds for urgently needed new and replacement tools, equipment and technology for Newmarket's hospital

Almost everything was different about this year’s Nature’s Emporium Run for Southlake, having shifted from an in-person race to a virtual event in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – except in one very important way: our communities rallied. Together, fundraising participants and sponsors helped raise $316,890!

As the largest annual fundraiser in support of Southlake Regional Health Centre, this event raises vital funds for urgently needed new and replacement tools, equipment and technology. In the midst of COVID-19, these needs have continued.

“This needed to be an entirely different event from what our communities’ are used to, which everyone understood. The funds raised this year are more important than ever before,” said Sheila Tilotta, Interim President and CEO at Southlake Foundation. “It’s truly inspiring and heartwarming to see that our supporters and community partners were eager to stick by our side, embracing this change and rallying to support our hospital.”

850 registered participants joined Southlake Foundation for the 5-day Virtual Challenge, many pleased with the added flexibility it offered to set customized distance goals and get creative with choosing their preferred distance-based activities. Participants walked, ran, cycled, swam, and more. 180 Southlake staff members actively participated and fundraised alongside our communities, making up 23 hospital department teams.

"At Nature's Emporium, we are all about promoting the key ingredients for living well and community is one them," said Joe D'Addario, President and Co-Founder, Nature's Emporium.

"Nature's Emporium has been the proud Title Sponsor of the Run for Southlake since 2014 and though this year's event called on us to participate in a very different way than years past, the attitude that our community showed up with to the virtual start line did not - supportive, caring, generous. On behalf of the Nature's Emporium family, I would like to thank you all for joining us for this year's reimagined event and for showing your support. This was truly an example of the power of coming together, apart."

Sponsors of the 2020 event included Nature’s Emporium (Title Sponsor), Magna International (T-Shirt Sponsor), Pfaff Automotive Partners (Route Sponsor), Sports Medicine Centre of Excellence (Warm-up Sponsor) and F45 Training Newmarket.

Plans for the 2021 event are underway, with details to be determined based on ensuring the safety of our participants and communities. Watch for updates at