It was a beautiful day for the Wawanesa Insurance Walk to Fight Arthritis in Winnipeg. Some sun, some cloud, a little wind, but no rain and no mosquitos.
The Lyric Theatre green space at Assiniboine Park was overflowing with 500+ excited walkers.
Invited speakers had arrived. The warm-up leader was limbering up. Team Matthew and Walk Hero Family, The Stipanovics, gathered close to the stage, waiting to share their story. Emcee Ace Burpee reviewed his speaking notes. Opening ceremonies were about to start.
Suddenly, all was quiet. The power had gone out.
Technicians scrambled to restore the sound system, checking wires and cables.
Walk volunteers along the route radioed in to confirm the power outage covered the 1,100-acre park, extending to the entire south-west section of Winnipeg.
We could wait for the power to come back, but for how long?
Walk Coordinator Craig Strike bellowed from the stage to participants and volunteers about what had just happened and asked for their patience.
Global News arrived, wanting to know if our Walk would go ahead. “Absolutely,” we replied.
Plan B was quickly set up: Volunteers and staff would fan out into the crowd, asking everyone to get as close to the stage as possible for a warm-up without music. Remarks and greetings would have to wait. Getting walkers moving was the priority.
Just as suddenly as the power had gone out, Walk sponsor Electra Sign came up to the stage.
Electra’s new truck, featuring two hydraulic electronic signs, was making its community event debut at the Wawanesa Insurance Walk to Fight Arthritis.
“You know, I have two generators in the new truck,” said Electra owner Marinus Van Osch. The sound crew worked frantically to hook everything up, and it worked.
Superhero sponsor Electra Sign saved the Winnipeg Walk!
Electra has sponsored the Walk with a gift-in-kind of signage, for two years now. This year, Electra expanded their support to the Brandon Walk.
“Electra Sign was pleased to show our support for the Walk,” said owner Marinus Van Osch.
Van Osch’s daughter, Monique, has lived with juvenile arthritis since the age of 11.
Monique has volunteered with The Society for nearly 10 years, as a spokesperson, education presenter, and advocacy committee member. She has served as Walk Volunteer Coordinator for two years.
“Special thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors involved in the event and to The Arthritis Society for putting on such a fun and meaningful event.”
We couldn’t agree more! Thank you Electra Sign and Van Osch Family for your ‘powerful’ support!