By: Esther Klein
More than 20,000 people helped raise about $900,000 in the 48th annual United Jewish Appeal Walk with Israel at Coronation Park in downtown Toronto on Monday morning.
With long weekend spirits in the air, families, friends and co-workers joined in on the five-kilometre walk through the streets of Toronto.
Premiere Kathleen Wynne, alongside Ontario politicians James Pasternak and Gila Martow, showed their support through their presence during the opening ceremony.
This year, the UJA held its first eight-kilometre run for aspiring marathoners. Runners and walkers began side by side at 10 a.m.
Many people were excited to hear about this new addition to the annual event, including 24-year-old runner Aryeh Spiegel.
“I am not much of a walker, but I love to run,” said Spiegel. “The instant I heard there was an option to run, I signed up.”
After the starting bell, participants made their way through the streets and were able to enjoy delicious food, Snapchat filters, and musical entertainment at various pit stops.
The finish line was at Ontario Place, where carnival and Kosher food vendors allowed families to enjoy the rest of their long weekend.
Participants were excepted to raise at least $36 to receive a UJA t-shirt, entrance pass, and food coupon.
All proceeds go to the UJA, which supports Jewish organizations and the land of Israel.
“It is an amazing event,” said Rebecca Kogon, a recent Masters graduate who will be teaching English in Israel next year. “It just feels great knowing I am supporting the land that is so important to me, and my people, in such a fun, interactive way.”
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