When B.C.-based runner Oliver Stankiewicz lost his mother, Laura Jean Stankiewicz, to cancer in August 2020, he started a movement–literally. Stankiewicz, with help from his partner Marie Articus, launched the initial Move4Mom run, a 24-hour trail running event that runners and walkers can participate either in person or virtually. Move4Mom raises funds for the McMurtry-Baerg Cancer Centre (Vernon Jubilee Hospital) and is held on Mother’s Day (this year, it’s on May 14 ) to honour Laura.
View this post on Instagram
This will be Move4Mom’s third year raising funds and flooding the trails with hope, and Stankiewicz and Articus have created something even bigger behind the scenes–The Movement Project. “I hope to inspire, to give, and to show people that they can make a difference–big or small–that can have a lasting impact on so many lives, families and individuals,” says Stankiewicz.
We caught up with Stankiewicz and Articus to learn more and find out how runners, volunteers and sponsors can show support.
CR: Can you tell bit more about what The Movement Project involves?
The Movement Project is a platform designed to give back to charities and individuals within our community through trail running events. Move4Mom is an entity of The Movement Project, which began in 2021 and continues to be our lead event–it spearheaded the development of The Movement Project into what it is today.
CR: What was the inspiration behind The Movement Project?
With the sudden loss of my mother in August 2020, I realized I didn’t have to let her story end there. I wanted to show people who she was, and what she taught me and turn the page on to a new chapter of her story.
I set out without a defined goal and just started running, quickly setting my sights on the 100K distance. Friends, family and my partner Marie have been a huge inspiration to me.
Whether it’s committing themselves to strenuous training plans, incredible ultramarathon distances, or laying out the best aid stations, they have all shown me they have my back and want to see this project grow.
View this post on Instagram
CR: What has kept you working on and expanding The Movement Project? What kind of success have you experienced?
The level of support from participants, donors and the community has been our greatest motivation to push this project to new heights. The growth of the generosity and the continued success of the event is incredibly rewarding and has resulted in $75,000 raised for the McMurtry-Baerg Cancer Centre, stemming from a humble original $5,000 goal.
The show of support from everyone involved in this project is what motivates us to discover what else The Movement Project can achieve.
CR: What are your hopes for the future of the project?
We hope to build on the foundation we have created by expanding our reach to include multiple running events for different charities. Our hope is to also widen our reach to include more runners from all across Canada (by offering a virtual format).
To assist in the growth of The Movement Project our hope is to bring in the support of a running brand that aligns with the goals and values of the project. The Movement Project has already exceeded our expectations on so many levels, and we are so grateful for the opportunity that it has given us to help people and will continue to do so as the project grows and evolves.
WATCH: The official trailer for Path of Purpose here. Full documentary will be released in May 2023.