Run For Rocky Legacy Project - A Windsor Legacy of Pride. www.runforrocky.com

The City of Windsor has declared April 9th Run for Rocky day annually.

Five Run for Rocky events took place annually beginning in April of 2013 with the FINALE event taking place on April 9th 2017. The fundraising efforts through this event have established a Legacy Fund that helps to support Gay Straight Alliances in local high schools and post-secondary schools in Windsor-Essex County. This financial support includes GSA grants, GSA scholarships, funds students and educators to go to GSA educational conferences, supplies educational resources that help support parents and educators and accommodates Diversity Training for educators.

The Run for Rocky Legacy Project continues to collect donations and sanction approved third party events to ensure the legacy of this event continues and the funding model remains intact.

As a family we understand that the Run for Rocky has helped to make great change in the acceptance of LGBTQ diversity in our community. The legacy of Rocky’s life and his advocacy work will live on with the continuation of this fund. Our community, schools, homes and workplaces have become more accepting and open places. There is greater support and services for those who are LGBTQ and live and work in the area. We understand how important this support is to businesses, families and educators in our community. The difference Run for Rocky has made now allows for the LGBTQ community to run with the torch and to continue the advocacy work with a stronger voice than in the past. Run for Rocky funding will continue for years to come to reinforce these efforts and ensure both students and educators are supported in our community.

History

Run for Rocky was a charity run/walk that took place in Windsor Ontario for 5 years which was inspired by Rocky Campana who passed away in 2012 after attempting to take his own life. The Campana Family, along with the Windsor Pride Community, Education and Resource Centre, wanted to share Rocky’s story. Through their collaboration, they have been able to fund GSAs in the local high school and post-secondary school systems, ensuring that parents, educators and youth have the knowledge and funding needed to help create Safe Schools, and creating a support system for youth in times of crisis. Rocky paved the path to make a difference while living, and the Run for Rocky Legacy Fund will continue to make a significant difference in his absence for years to come.

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ROCKY CAMPANA

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Rocky was a shining star, an achiever and proud to be gay. He had everything in life to live for, including a high profile new job and a family he adored and who supported him endlessly with great pride. It is now apparent that Rocky suffered from depression. We understand that if this scenario is possible in our family it is a risk for any family with an LGBTQ youth. Rocky made a difference in life and as a family we are determined his message continues to be delivered and makes a difference in others’ lives.
-Nancy Campana.

About Rocky and what his life stood for.

Rocky was only in our presence for 23 years. However, anyone who knew or even had a short encounter with him understood that there was something very special about him. Looking back on Rocky’s life, it is instantly apparent that he packed many accomplishments and a great deal of giving through his various activities and involvements in a very short period of time.

Rocky was a graduate of the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business Graduate Program. Rocky had four Case Studies published by the Richard Ivey School of Business, which continue to be used in universities throughout the United States and Canada. During his time at Western, he maintained an Honours average while working 30 to 40 hours a week and volunteering almost daily. Rocky was involved with the Pride Library, initiated the Street Meat Program to raise funds for The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, organized movie premiere bus trips for the debut of hot movies for resident students, volunteered for the Alzheimer’s Society, was a Resident Assistant and Soccer League House League Convenor . He also ran yearly in Toronto’s Pride and Remembrance Run, raising a significant amount of money for the signature charity each year. At the 2013 Toronto Pride and Remembrance Run, Rocky Campana’s family accepted The Bill Graham Award presented to Rocky posthumously by Premier Kathleen Wynn. The Bill Graham Award was established in 2008 by the Pride and Remembrance Association to recognize service to the LGBT community through demonstrated volunteerism and/or community leadership.

What people remember most about Rocky was his sheer determination to be the best at whatever he attempted and his ability to make everyone he met feel special. People also remember his vocal determination to create change to help youth in the LGBT community during the challenging process of coming out. Rocky was hoping to help bring a National Suicide Hotline program for LGBT Youth to Canada, a void he felt was lacking nationally.

Rocky had just begun his dream job at Proctor and Gamble weeks before his passing. Part of his duties included community service hours. Rocky’s ambition was to go into high schools and to talk to students about accepting others for who they are, regardless of their sexuality, popularity, race, religion, and income level. Rocky was passionate about taking care of those who were treated unjustly in life. He was ecstatic when the Ontario government passed the bill to mandate GSAs in high schools. It is fitting that the Run for Rocky in Windsor will help fund educational programs and speakers in partnership with GSAs in the local school systems. This program is the first of its kind in Canada and is now being looked at as a pilot project that will be taken across Canada to help fund GSAs in all high schools nationally.

The first three Run for Rocky events have raised over $170,000.00 with overwhelming corporate and community support. This event was the very first of its kind in Ontario helping to raise money to support the newly initiated GSAs in the school system. Rocky’s parents Nancy & Rob understood that without funding, GSA programming would be unable to reach its full potential, and saw a need to bring a significant change in this area. The funds brought in through the 2016 Run will be used to help expand support of educational programming for both parents and our local youth at the school level ensuring that Gay Straight Alliances start at home and are reinforced in a supportive and accepting school environment. The Run for Rocky funding model includes education programs for parents, youth and educators, GSA leadership mentoring programs, youth mental health awareness programs, youth suicide prevention programming for all students and scholarship opportunities for those involved in their GSA’s.

The inaugural Run for Rocky also coincided with an organ donation change petition brought forth to the House of Commons in May of 2014 with a request for policy changes by Health Canada in their Blood and Organ Donation policies. The discrepancies in Canada’s blood and organ donation system became apparent when the Campana family were unable to donate Rocky’s organs at the time of his death. Now that the petition has been tabled further work with government, organ donation foundations and the medical community is taking place to ensure change in policy is made in the future.

WHO BENEFITS…

Gay Straight Alliances

  • allow youth to break through the isolation and to find support from peers and school staff;
  • unite LGBTQ students, straight allies, and members of the school community who are committed to making schools safer and more accepting for LGBTQ students;
  • draw on the courage of LGBTQ youth and the commitment of straight allies working in partnership to build bridges, improve school climates, and change school policies;
  • and when strong and well-supported, have a major impact on the educational environment and empower individuals, school cultures, and educational institutions to change for the better.

The Windsor Pride Community, Resource & Education Centre Programs

  • Schools Out – a summer program that helps LGBTQ youth and allies develop leadership, mentoring, communications, and marketing skills, and to learn comprehensive social and political history of the LGBTQ community;
  • Diversity Training – training for the purpose of increasing participants’ cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills, protecting against civil rights violations while increasing the inclusion of different identity groups and promoting better teamwork;
  • Referral – referring members of the community to the proper social services of which they are in need.

HOW TO HELP

YOUR GSA OR PLACE OF BUSINESS CAN HOST AN RUN FOR ROCKY DAY LUNCHHOUR RUN/WALK

Contact our office to receive your R4R Walk/Run Kit. Highschool GSAs will be able to put all funds raised toward their own GSA projects or OUTShine funding. If this idea is too complicated for your place of work, ask us for a R4R Karma Box to collect donations in your place of business during Run for Rocky Week.

CORPORATE “ROCK YOUR RAINBOW” DAY

In place of a dress down day make April 9th a staff “Rock Your Rainbow” day. Encourage staff to donate $2 to Run for Rocky on April 9th to wear bright rainbowy colours to work that day.

R4R RESTAURANT WEEK

Restaurants and bars can become official Run for Rocky Partners during the week of April 9th by donating a portion of their proceeds from a signature drink or dessert to Run for Rocky.

R4R KARMA YOGA & FITNESS DAY

Yoga studios, fitness clubs and personal trainers are encouraged to add a R4R Karma Box to their counters on April 9th to collect donations for Run for Rocky.

MEMORIAL DONATIONS

When someone you love passes away, choosing a charity to collect memorial donations is a very personal decision that a family has to make. This decision often reflects the passions or characteristics of the person you have lost. If LGBTQ issues were important to your loved one, consider directing memorial donations to Windsor Pride-Run for Rocky.

WEDDING DAY & BIRTHDAY PARTY GIFTING

Are you looking for a cause to support in lieu of guest gifts? If LGBTQ youth issues are close to your heart, consider a donation to Windsor Pride-Run for Rocky in lieu of gifting.

Contact us to organize one of the mentioned or one of your own R4R Day donation drive ideas.
Nancyc@RunforRocky.com or 519-978-0676

donation

Donate to Windsor Pride Run for Rocky any time during the year through the link below – we thank you for your great generosity!
(Charitable tax receipts will be issued for donations of $20 or more)

 
DONATE NOW

Download the 2016/2017 R4R Funding Report
HERE

SPONSORS

Legacy Sponsor

Title Sponsor

Cool Sponsors

Cool with school sponsoring high school & post-secondary youth

Media Mogul Sponsors

Speaking the word through media with their sponsorship

Socially Responsible Sponsors

Doing the right thing with their sponsorship by supporting this cause

Prize Sponsors

Showing support with prize give aways

Kind Sponsors

Speaking love and kindness through sponsorship

Education Partners

Education is the premise of progress in families and society

Scholarship

Find out if you’re eligible

If you are graduating and have been an active member of your school’s GSA, you are eligible to apply for a Run for Rocky Scholarship.

DOWNLOAD GUIDELINES

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION

Grants

Learn about GSA grants

If your highschool is involved with GSA’s, you are eligible to apply for yearly Run for Rocky GSA Project Grants.

DOWNLOAD CAESARS WINDSOR EDUCATOR DIVERSITY TRAINING GRANT GUIDELINES

DOWNLOAD CAESARS WINDSOR EDUCATOR DIVERSITY TRAINING GRANT APPLICATION

DOWNLOAD GSA GRANT GUIDLINES

DOWNLOAD GSA GRANT APPLICATION

DOWNLOAD GRANT IDEAS

CONTACT US

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address

Windsor Pride-Run for Rocky

1280 Woodmont Crescent
Lasalle, Ontario, Canada
N9J 3H9

phone & email

NANCY CAMPANA

(519) 978-0676
Nancyc@RunforRocky.com

Bob Williams, executive director

(519) 973-4656
executive.director@windsorpride.com