Garrison Petawawa hosts day for families
Sean Chase/Daily Observer Garrison Petawawa Family Day saw 800 participants compete in the third annual Paint Me Petawawa Colour Run Saturday. Each runner was splashed with paint at several stations along the two-kilometre and five-kilometre routes around the garrison.
GARRISON PETAWAWA – Military and civilian personnel took time away from their hectic operational tempo Saturday to bring family and friends to work.
The garrison once more celebrated Family Day hosting not just those employed here 365 days of the year but the entire community. The event shares the close relationship between the town and the garrison and shows appreciation for families who have proven to be the supportive backbone for the soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen, especially when they deploy on long exercises or overseas missions.
“People are embracing this as a community event,” said Garrison Petawawa Commander Col. Louis Lapointe. “This is our way of saying thank you for being the strength behind us.”
Garrison Family Day is a chance for the various units within 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2CMBG) and the lodger units from the garrison, like Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) and 1 Canadian Field Hospital, to demonstrate their capabilities with a series of interactive and static displays set up on the grounds of Dundonald Hall. Those ranged from special operators showing the kids the desert patrol vehicles they've used in Iraq or infantrymen from the Royal Canadian Regiment conducting tours of those LAV IIIs (light armoured vehicles) that drove the roads of Kandahar, Afghanistan.
“The kids don't see what their parents do so this is a great chance for them to see and touch the equipment,” said event co-ordinator Capt. Isabella Jean who was thrilled by the good weather and the attendance. “We've been lucky. Mother Nature has been great.”
Petawawa has been exceptionally busy with 2 Brigade's Task Force Tomahawk completing the road to high readiness in Wainwright this past June and preparing for deployments to the Ukraine this month and Latvia in 2018. Personnel continue to rotate to Iraq and peace support operations around the globe. However, the garrison has also deployed troops and aircraft to battle the forest fires in B.C., the recent floods in Quebec and to Cornwall to support federal and civilian authorities who are assisting in managing asylum seekers at the Canadian border.
“It's a good way to take a pause and enjoy good family time and then carry on,” added Col. Lapointe.
Family Day provided a venue for residents to sign up for the fall recreation programs and activities offered by the Personnel Support Program (PSP), as well as the many clubs and organizations running at the garrison. In addition to a kiddie commando course, live entertainment and the MasoniCh.I.P Child Identification Program, audiences took in a performance by the 2CMBG Pipes and Drums.
The highlight of the day, however, was the third annual Paint Me Petawawa Colour Run, which saw more than 800 runners heading down the new Garrison Fitness Trail in two-kilometre and five-kilometre races. Along the way, runners were splashed with multicoloured paints at various stations by volunteers. The number of participants doubled from last year. Karen Donovan, PSP manager of community recreation, said the Paint Me run has resonated with the community adding the weather was much better this year than in 2016 which contributed to the high turnout.
“It has really grown over the three years,” said Donovan. “We wanted something fitnessed-based that our families could participate in.”