About Our Founder
A Tribute to our Event-Founder, Kevin Kaminski
It is impossible for us to describe the enormous fun, the community and family experience that people savour, and the joy that walkers and runners celebrate through their participation in Light It Up Calgary, without talking about our event founder, Kevin Kaminski.
Understanding this man will make understanding the event and its magic, possible.
Kevin was a force! In his teens he learned that he would lose his sight fully over a short time. Ironically, this seemed to set a spark in Kevin. Undaunted, he learned braille, continued his pursuit of hockey, cycling, hunting, golf, fishing, and more. As his sight continued to decline, he took up numerous new activities and then learned a sport called goalball, becoming a 3-time Paralympian. He finished a degree, built a successful career, became a loving father to two beautiful daughters and a granddaughter, continued his extensive volunteer work, and established a home-based business. He was a force!
And giving was in his DNA. In addition to his numerous community volunteer roles, on his retirement from goalball Kevin recognized that he had a pressing need to give back even more to a community that he felt had given so much to him.
With this goal in mind, Kevin assembled a group of cherished family and friends and planted the seed of creating a run/walk that everyone could enjoy while supporting an organization that he deeply admired and understood the profound impact of, and so began the Light It Up Calgary Fun Run and Walk in support of Wellspring Calgary.
Kevin led this event as he lived his life – with passion, gusto, and relentless enthusiasm. His energy was infectious and his determination to make this the most enjoyable event possible, and to earn as much as possible, which meant supporting as many as possible, became his driver.
Tragically and unexpectedly, Kevin died on July 18, 2019.
As an organizing committee brought together by Kevin, it has been our greatest honour to carry on one of his (many) profound legacies.
Dr. Lester Mercuur at the celebration of his life, shared words that speak to the enormous and indomitable spirit and legacy that Kevin has left us all … in Light it Up Calgary and in life:
“Kevin lived life boldly, courageously and unapologetically. Not being sighted was never an impediment, rather something that propelled and inspired him to achieve even greater things. His determination was dogged and his spirit indomitable. He relished and savoured the taste of his life and all it had to offer. He found humour in ordinary things and opportunity in every challenge. Kevin’s positivity, humour and charm could lift your spirit like no one else. He was a pillar of integrity, honesty and decency. He was never boastful and he put others he loved ahead of himself. He taught us how to live unselfishly and how to put others first: how not to falter in the face of adversity, rather to seek out its opportunity; how to take life by the horns and how to have fun while doing it. He taught us the importance of cherishing and nurturing relationships, the value of serving the broader community around us, and how to give of ourselves without expecting anything in return. To have known Kevin was to have experienced a slice of the very best that life has to offer.”
We are proud to carry on Kevin’s legacy and we welcome you to join us.
Light it Up Calgary: 1K KIDS/3K/5K/10K – Sept 11, 2021 (Sept 11-19, 2021 virtual)