TRU student keeps brother’s spirit burning bright

Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run returns for its second year of holiday giving

Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run is returning for its second year! The event itself will be held on Dec. 2 at the West Highlands Community Centre. TRU students can donate $5 for entry. (Submitted)

The season of festive attire and giving is among us. With the holiday season right around the corner, TRU student Payton Comazzetto is holding the second annual Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run.

The run will be held Dec. 2 at the West Highlands Community Centre. The event works hard to create not only a fun family-friendly atmosphere but also one to encourage and promote community mental and physical health.

“The event itself is trying to promote a positive atmosphere during the Christmas season because people who’ve experienced poor mental health often have decreasing mental health during the holiday season,” Comazzetto said. “We’re just trying to make a family-friendly event that promotes being together and having fun.”

Comazzetto dedicated the event to her late brother Brennan, a boy who loved all things Christmas, but was tragically killed by a drunk driver while riding his bike in 1999.

The event affected Comazzetto adversely, leaving her with PTSD. Later on in life, she began running to alleviate some of that stress.

Last year, Comazzetto participated in a Service Learning course which allowed her to put on the inaugural Ugly Sweater Run. For the second year, Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run will be collecting donations to support the Boys and Girls Club Power Start Program.

The Boys and Girls Club Power Start Program is supporting at-risk youths in Kamloops with a solid breakfast every day, which for some is the only daily meal they receive.

Last year, Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run collected $7,570, with all of the donations funnelling right into the Power Start Program. With the money collected, Comazzetto was able to feed 30 kids every day for an entire year.

“It’s pretty hard to watch kids in our own community go hungry,” Comazzetto said.

It is estimated that approximately 130 kids use the Boys and Girls Club Power Start Program in Kamloops.

The goal for this year is to reach $5,000 in donations. Comazzetto has expressed that it might be hard to top the generous donations of last year’s event.

Comazzetto expressed great appreciation for all the support received from the community. Kamloops has teamed up to donate thousands of dollars worth of prizes and raffle winnings in support of Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run.

The run itself will be a five km loop through decorations and jolly Christmas jingles to keep the Brennan’s love for Christmas alive.

The cost for entrance into the run is a minimum donation of $10 or $35 for a family of four. TRU students can run for a $5 donation when showing their TRU ID.

To make a donation and participate in the festive charity run, visit the Facebook page at Facebook.com/BrennansUglySweaterRun or donate at gofundme.com/Brennan2018.