The Y was everywhere at March’s Round the Bays event.

Our amazing team of runners and fundraisers pounded the pavement to help raise funds for The Y Sports Camps and making a difference in the lives of over 1,200 kids. Our funding received another extra boost when, as part of its 50-plus year legacy, Round the Bays awarded $10,000 from their Youth Sports Fund to our fundraising efforts.

But the race couldn’t have gone on without the epic mahi of our awesome Raise Up volunteers. These passionate young people offered up their time to man the very necessary water stations across the route. With 6 stations in total across the long racecourse, their role was integral for the runners’ and walkers’ well-being, preventing dehydration and offering uplifting cheers.

With a 5.30am start time, the dedication of the volunteers was visible (even if only through half open eyes). 11 crew members signed up for leadership roles, and the rest of the 60+ contingent was made up of 40 young men from St Peters, and students from Baradene College and Marist Girls.

Beginning the day with some friendly competition, our volunteers got things ready with a race to see who could fill cups and stack all 5 giant trays the quickest. With a record score of only 19 minutes, Station 2 proved themselves head and shoulders above the rest! The volunteer team LOVED the event. A true festival spirit was evident, with dress ups, music, and entertainment on every inch of the route. 18 entertainment acts created a fun and happy vibe which was infectious, and there was dancing and singing along from our volunteer crew. “It’s fantastic to see the crowds, the colour, and the energy. Even the rain couldn’t put a dampener on the high spirits with people out doing what they love, and the atmosphere was epic.

Feedback from participants and organisers was overwhelmingly positive, praising the volunteers for their politeness, helpfulness, and unwavering enthusiasm. Special recognition was given to Louis, the Service Captain from St Peters, who played a pivotal role in recruiting volunteers and supporting the event throughout the day, and to our Raise Up crew members, who were amazing leaders ensuring their stations were running well.

Reflecting on the event, Donna DeQuaasteniet, affectionately known as the Raise Up ‘mama,’ shared her pride in addressing the sea of volunteers clad in Raise Up tees, a testament to the power of volunteerism in bringing such events to life.

Both The Y and Round the Bays team deeply appreciate the volunteers’ efforts. The Raise Up crews are committed to community service, and their volunteering endeavours have a dual benefit: they make a tangible positive impact on the community and enrich the volunteers’ own lives.

Volunteers shared their personal experiences, highlighting the fulfilment they gained from their involvement: “Volunteering at the event made me feel part of something bigger, sparking a desire for more community engagement. I’m already looking forward to next year!” “Giving back to the community brings me immense satisfaction, knowing that my efforts have made a real difference.”

These sentiments echo the spirit of volunteerism that is at the heart of the Round the Bays event, and at the heart of Raise Up, demonstrating that it’s not just about the race, but about the collective effort and shared joy of the community.