With an impressive track record spanning two decades, the dedicated committee behind the Boogie the Bridge fundraising event has managed to raise $95,000 for the Boogie the Bridge Cultural Fund, administered by the BC Interior Community Foundation. This exceptional achievement makes a tangible impact as the fund was established to help support, develop and nurture creative growth for Kamloops children and youth by offering grants to help cover the cost of cultural programs, events and workshops.
Boogie the Bridge is an annual running event that takes place in Kamloops. Every year more than 2,000 people of all ages, genders and ethnicities gather at MacArthur Park and make their way across the bridge to Riverside Park.
“Dancing across the bridge, while thinking you’re not exercising”, that’s how Jo Berry, the founder of Boogie the Bridge, explained the meaning behind the name of the event. Back in 1998, Jo Berry, along with Carol Gillis, Nina Reimer, Dawn King and Tracy Smith initiated what was then an all-women’s gathering, drawing 62 enthusiastic participants. Little did they know that their humble beginnings would pave the way for one of Kamloops’ largest and most anticipated events.
Not only does the event help the community with physical health, but it also gives back. In 2022, the Boogie the Bridge Cultural Fund gave out more than $8,000 in grants to young individuals eager to explore music, theatre, dance and arts.
Covid-19 had a huge hit on the event, however, people still participated online. 2022 was an extremely important year for the Boogie team, it was the first year that the event came back to the streets of Kamloops. It exceeded all expectations and 2,256 people ran in McDonald Park on the North Shore.
“It was important to raise the awareness of physical and mental health after the pandemic. We were so happy to see everyone there. The participants were happy to feel and be part of the society again,” said Berry. The founders mentioned that running and physical activity was extremely important during and after coronavirus.
Something that started off as a project for Berry’s social work has grown into one of the biggest fundraising movements in Kamloops. This remarkable initiative has not only assisted numerous children in pursuing their dreams, which were once financially out of reach, but it has also empowered countless individuals to embrace a healthier lifestyle.