Windsor

Run for Rocky brings in more than $100k for LGBT charities

The fifth annual Run for Rocky raised more than $104,000 for LGBT programs in Windsor, including funding to support Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) in schools and support for Windsor Pride.

Total money raised over past five years exceeds $380,000

Participants at the final Run for Rocky in 2016. (Ned Mold/Facebook)

The fifth annual Run for Rocky raised more than $104,000 for LGBT programs in Windsor, including funding to support Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) in schools and support for Windsor Pride.

This year will mark the last Run for Rocky. According to organizers, they have raised a total of $383,000 over the past five years, with Windsor Pride receiving 25% of that funding.

The annual event was organized by Rocky Campana's parents Rob and Nancy after the young man from LaSalle took his own life. Rocky wanted his organs donated, but his wish was denied — his family believes it's because he was gay. 

Rob and Nancy Campana started the Run for Rocky after their son took his own life in 2012. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

His parents chose to direct funding towards programs for LGBT youth in Windsor-Essex, focusing on GSAs.

"When I started approaching people saying we were raising money for GSAs in high schools, people were sort of looking at me like 'What's a GSA?'" said Rob in an interview with CBC Radio's Windsor Morning prior to the 2017 event. "It's amazing how the community embraced it and ran with it."

Before this year's run was completed, Nancy Campana told CBC News she estimated they would raise $75,000 in 2017.

The family said they always planned to end the run after five years, so the event could end on a high note and wouldn't be a burden on friends and local businesses.

with files from CBC Radio's Windsor Morning

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