Patricia Mulvaney sets out on a 10-km walk Thursday (July 2), to raise funds and awareness for Surrey Urban Mission. She decided to do the trek last-minute, after a tradition of hosting a pancake breakfast during July 1 activities in White Rock was stymied by the pandemic. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Blustery South Surrey walk to benefit homeless

Patricia Mulvaney is walking 10k to boost awareness of Surrey Urban Mission Society

The pandemic may have quashed Canada Day festivities on the waterfront, but a Peninsula woman took cancellation of one particular event in stride this week.

Patricia Mulvaney – liaison for Mount Olive Lutheran Church and Surrey Urban Mission Society (SUMS) – set out in Thursday’s blustery morning weather to complete her version of the Semiahmoo First Nation Canada Day Rock 5k/10k Run.

Organized for the past 11 years by Try Events as part of activities marking July 1, it was sidelined this year by pandemic-related restrictions on gatherings.

“I’ve been doing it since the beginning,” Mulvaney said, just before embarking on a 10-kilometre route.

SUMS, she said, usually hosts a pancake breakfast at the Canada Day Rock event, with funds raised supporting the society’s efforts in Whalley. Those efforts include providing daily meals to the homeless and others needing support.

READ MORE: Plenty of ways to celebrate Canada’s birthday in White Rock and Surrey

During the pandemic, that work has had to be adjusted, including a switch from sit-down meals to providing bagged meals through a take-out window at the society’s office.

Mulvaney, who was dressed in a fluorescent running jacket and adorned with ‘Walking for SUMS’ bibs on Thursday, hoped her walk – from the 2350 148 St. church, along 20 Avenue west to 128 Street and then east along 16 Avenue – would help raise at least some awareness and funds for the cause.

“Any financial donations at all can be very well put to use,” she noted.

Anyone wanting to pitch in may mail donations to SUMS at 10776 King George Blvd. Alternatively, they may be done online at (search ‘SUMS’ under charity) or dropped off at the church (2350 148 St.) on Tuesdays between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Mulvaney and other volunteers have been in the South Surrey parking lot weekly on Tuesday mornings for the past month hosting a drive-thru collection effort in support of the bagged-meal program.

READ MORE: South Surrey church to host drive-thru food-donation station

Focused on snacks, the drive-thru program is going well, she said. It will continue as long as pandemic-related restrictions continue to prevent SUMS’ indoor meals, Mulvaney added.

Items sought include juice boxes, granola bars, ready-to-eat canned tuna and fresh fruit.

For more information on what’s needed at SUMS, Mulvaney may be reached at 604-786-4711.

This feel-good story is part of the #WereInThisTogether campaign by Black Press Media. Have an uplifting story that you think would bring joy to readers? Email your story, photos and videos to

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Patricia Mulvaney readies for 10-km walk Thursday (July 2), an effort she undertook to raise funds and awareness for Surrey Urban Mission, after a tradition of hosting a pancake breakfast during July 1 activities in White Rock was stymied by the pandemic. (Tracy Holmes photo)

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