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Trek2Tuk4Kids hoping to raise $20,000 for student enrichment

If you see a lot of people walking, running or biking along the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk highway this weekend, give them a supportive honk.
Participants set out on the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway in 2019 to help raise $16,500 for East Three and Mangilaluk schools. Now, they’re going to do it again on June 3. Photo courtesy of Trek2tuk4kids

If you see a lot of people walking, running or biking along the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk highway this weekend, give them a supportive honk.

Truk2Tuk4Kids is back after a few year hiatus, bringing community members and friends from the B.C. coast together to both raise funds for school enrichment programs and clean up the highway.

”It’s a fundraiser that came out of the idea of Walking to Tuk,” said organizer Peter Clarkson. “In 2017, it was the last season of the ice road, so I walked to Tuk. I was going to walk the ITH in 2018, but I hurt my back. So we did it in 2019, and a couple friends came up to do it with you. Then one of my friends said ‘if we’re going to walk a 150 kilometres we might as well make it a fundraiser.’

“The other component is in 2019 we couldn’t believe how much garbage had accumulated along the road, so we have volunteers coming up to walk along and pick up litter.”

Last time, Clarkson and some friends from Vancouver took to the ITH and raised $13,500 while hiking the trail. The funds helped send students of Mangilaluk school to Spain to attend the United Nations COP25 and brought an inspirational speaker to East Three School to talk about preventing suicide.

That was in 2019 and created enough enthusiasm among the walkers to bring more forms of transport to the fundraiser. Now, participants can walk, run or bike a 5 kilometre section of the ITH or if they’re truly daring can attempt the entire 150 kilometre trek. Participants can also set up relay teams to complete the journey.

All this was set to happen in 2020, but a global pandemic shelved the plan for a few years.

But this year the need to raise funds is urgent. Clarkson noted this was the first year Inuvik did not send a team to the Super Soccer 2023 - NWT School Soccer Championships in April, as there wasn’t an extra $36,000 to cover the team’s costs.

“If there’s a team travelling somewhere, if there’s an arts program or they want to bring a presenter up here, whatever BBDEC wants to do,” he said. “Anything we can get the schools at all for enrichment is great.

“The plan is also to get the kids out. Kids are going out from the schools on Friday afternoon, just to get them out and active. If the kids have some sponsorships for whatever they want to raise money for, they can do that as well.”

So far, nine people are flying up from B.C. and five locals have committed to the trek, on top of the volunteers providing food, transport and support.

Initially, registration was open until May 31, but Clarkson said anyone who is interested can join up to the start of the walk on June 3. The Ultra marathon starts at 3:30 a.m. and shuttles to starting points for relay trekkers and cyclists start at 7:30 a.m. Those just joining for a light stroll to Tuk are asked to be at the Mackenzie Hotel by 4 p.m. to be picked up. Dinners will be held in Inuvik the night before at East Three School and at Mangilaluk school after everyone makes it in. A bike clinic will be held at 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. June 2 outside East Three to ensure cyclists have the proper gear.

“If people want to show Saturday morning, that’s alright,” said Clarkson. “

Clarkson said the goal is to raise $20,000 and to date $16,500 has already been accumulated. Donations will be accepted after the trek is completed as well. Sent an EMT to to donate and include T2T4K2023 DONATION in the comment of the e-transfer.

About the Author: Eric Bowling

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