The Santa Run is the new race in town, the one with a big heart and even bigger dreams. We’ve got Christmas spirit to spare— kinda like the jolly old fellow whose suit we’ll be wearing as we make our way through Stanley Park on November 30th. But we’re not new to caring for burn survivors, our fellow fire fighters, and our communities.
The Santa Run is the dream of the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. While we’re not as old as Saint Nick himself, we have been around – for 41 years to be exact. Bright Nights is our time-honoured Christmas tradition, with fire fighter volunteers working around the clock the month of November to make the spectacle of lights a reality. Just don’t even think about comparing them to elves!
Through the Santa Run, we’re raising awareness and funding for our child burn survivor programs. From the youngest survivors who attend Little Lionhearts Family Camp to THRIVE for our Burn Camp graduates, we support survivors through their recovery journeys every step of the way.
We’re on a mission to become a Vancouver Christmas tradition, just like Bright Nights. For over 20 years, fire fighters across the Lower Mainland have volunteered their time to decorate a portion of Vancouver’s Stanley Park (surrounding the Christmas Train) with over three million twinkling lights. Bright Nights guest enjoy light displays, entertainment, the Christmas Train, and visits with Santa.
The BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, established in 1978, is the charitable arm of the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Association. Started by fire fighters who visited patients in the burn unit and saw a critical need for medical equipment to help patients on their journey to recovery, the Burn Fund has since grown to further support burn units at VGH and BC Children’s Hospital, as well as burn survivor programs and burn prevention campaigns across the province.
What People Say
“Burn Camp really helped me feel like a kid again. I got back into the water for the polar bear dip, we went to the pool. I really got to be active again.” -Keira McKenzie, 11-year-old Burn survivor
“I come to Burn Camp after so many years to give back to the younger campers what I got out of it as a camper. It puts a smile on my face seeing the positive reaction I get from the kids when I tell my story and when I walk around showing off my scars with pride and confidence. I have no idea where I’d be without Burn Camp and the Burn Fund,”
-James Buick, Burn Camp Counselor
“My favorite part of Burn Camp is just being here. It’s really about the kids. We are all here for the kids because of the support. Survivors often go through depression or have anxiety. It’s nice to have a week to be away from all that and be around people who are just like you,” – Thomas Zarelli, a burn survivor and Junior Camp Counselor who has been attending Burn Camp for 14 years