Ottawa Law Day 5 KM Fun Run/Walk Celebrates 20th Anniversary

  • April 23, 2014

Ottawa – On Friday, April 24, some 450 runners and walkers are expected to participate in the 20th annual Law Day 5 km Fun Run/Walk.

Ottawa employment lawyer John Westdal, of Sevigny Westdal LLP, has been participating in the Fun Run/Walk since its inception in 1995. In 2005, when the Ottawa Law Day Committee was looking for someone to take over the lead, he volunteered for the role.

“I was happy to do so as it combined my love of running and my strong desire to give back to the community,” says organizer John Westdal.

Although the run is open to anyone, participants are primarily lawyers and legal support staff. “The Run brings us together as a community to raise money for a charity that will make a meaningful difference to those in need,” says John.

“It also gets people out from behind their desks and into the fresh air for a little exercise — which is just what many legal professionals need,” he adds.

Proceeds from this year’s Fun Run are being donated to the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa, a program that provides a range of innovative services that support and empower youth.  Previous recipients include Harvest House, a program that helps men and their families deal with chemical dependencies; Harmony House, a shelter for battered women; Christie Lake Kids, a camp for underprivileged children; and the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre, to benefit children with disabilities through programs, equipment purchases and research.

Each year the Run raises money for a charity through firm sponsorships and entry fees. To date, the Run has raised more than $200,000 for various causes.

The Fun Run is part of the Canadian Bar Association’s Law Day. This year, the CBA released a series of cards or “legal health checks”  for people to use to gauge their legal health in certain situations, and decide whether they need to look for more information or legal help.

The cards deal with subjects including wills, rights as a non-unionized employee, alternative dispute resolution, buying a home and youth justice issues.

Details for Ottawa's 2015 5K Fun Run/Walk:

  • When: Friday, April 24 at 12:30 p.m.
  • Where: Ottawa City Hall’s Marion Dewar Plaza, 161 Elgin Street
  • Registration:
    • In advance for $15 (youth) or $25 (adult)
    • On race day for $30

Registration fees include a free shirt, as well as food and beverages supplied by Gowlings LLP. Prizes will be awarded to the top overall finishers, top finishers from the legal community, and top student finishers. For more information, visit the Running Room website.

The CBA is dedicated to support for the rule of law, and improvement in the law and the administration of justice. Some 36,000 lawyers, notaries in Quebec, law teachers, and law students from across Canada are members.

Law Day Run/Walk Contact:

John Westdal Sevigny Westdal LLP
Cell: 613-751-4459, ext. 233