By Kate Banadyga
Men, women, children, and canines were among more than 750 participants at the Walk for Valour Place on Saturday, April 23rd in Edmonton.
Members of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment and 49th Battalion Pipes and Drums led the marchers through the streets of downtown Edmonton beginning at the Jefferson Armoury, then over to the Prince of Wales Armouries, and on to the Alberta Legislature before ending back at the final destination – the future site of Valour Place on 11109 -111th Avenue.
The first of its kind in Canada, Valour Place will be a home for injured soldiers, veterans and their families while they are in Edmonton for medical treatment and care at the University of Alberta Hospital and the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.
“Each year, hundreds of soldiers return home from combat and missions severely injured and in need of medical care and lengthy rehabilitation,” said Julie Hamilton, Executive Director of Valour Place. As a mother of a son who has completed two tours in Afghanistan as a member of Canadian Forces 1 Combat Engineer Regiment, she felt compelled to get involved.
“Happily he has returned home safely,” she said. “But there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about those wives, mothers and fathers who weren’t as fortunate.”
“Hope away from Home”
At approximately 10,000 square feet in size, this military family support house will house twelve barrier-free suites and include all the comforts of home in a welcoming, family-friendly environment and most importantly, at no cost to injured soldiers, veterans and their families.
To date $6.9 million of the $10 million needed to build and operate Valour Place has been received through government funding, private donors and events like the Walk for Valour Place alone raising $40,000 through pledges and donations.
With the house set to open next year, Valour Place Society is still shy of their fundraising goal to create this “hope away from home.” They are challenging Canadians to “Show Your Valour” and hold their own fundraising event or donate directly to the organization.
Additional information about Valour Place and how you can get involved can be found online at valourplace.ca.