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Montrealer runs 1,000 km to help local non-profit amid pandemic

Click to play video: 'Montreal father raises $23,000 and counting for charity' Montreal father raises $23,000 and counting for charity
WATCH ABOVE: A Montreal resident took up a big challenge over the last few months. He ran 1,000 kilometres in 74 days for a cause that's close to his heart. Felicia Parrillo reports – Dec 21, 2020

François Morin is an avid runner. Throughout his life, he’s competed in a number of races, but for the last few months he’s been running for something different.

Morin is the father of two girls aged 21 and 15.

Both of them live with a genetic and degenerative disease.

Morin’s two daughters, Camille and Sophie. Karol Dahl/Global News

For the last eight years, they’ve been getting help and services from Centre Philou, a non-profit that provides respite stays, summer day camp, family support and development programs for children with disabilities.

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“With the pandemic this spring, I said, what’s going to happen with all of these non-profit organizations? What can I do to help them out?” Morin said.

So he thought he’d try to raise money for the centre, by doing something he knows and loves.

READ MORE: COVID-19 crisis impacting Montreal school, association for people with special needs

Back in October, Morin decided he would run 1,000 kilometres.

Rain or shine — in the evenings, or during the day — he ran.

More specifically, he covered 15 km a day.

He documented and posted some of his treks on social media, to stir a buzz and encourage people to donate.

The entire challenge took him 74 days.

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“The loop is 15 km and the height of it, I calculated it the other day, it’s about 300 metres,” said Morin. “So if you add it all up, I basically went up mount Everest 1.5 times.”

Diane Chênevert, Centre Philou’s executive director and founder said it’s been a bumpy few months as a result of the pandemic, since 70 per cent of the organization’s funding comes from the private sector.

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“I would say, until September, October, there was not quite a lot coming in,” she said. “So it was very difficult to continue.”

To date, Morin’s run has raised $23,000 and counting.

Chênevert said the money will mainly go to the centre’s schooling and respite programs.

She added that the organization is more than grateful for Morin’s generosity, and with the holidays approaching, she hopes others will be as selfless.

“It’s Christmas, we all have to stay home, but I think we have to think of others as well who are sometimes in worst situations than we are,” she said. “So I encourage people, as a gift to themselves, to give (to) others.”

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