VICTORIA -- Firefighters from four local fire departments will be “Going around in Circles” on the track at Oak Bay High School to raise money for Greater Victoria children’s charities.

On June 27 members from the Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Victoria and Saanich fire departments will be walking laps in “full turnout gear” to raise funds for the Victoria Hospitals Foundation and Santa's Anonymous during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Because of the pandemic, Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt and Oak Bay firefighters had to cancel our fundraisers,” said Oak Bay firefighter and charitable foundation executive director Trent Frenkel.

“We had to start thinking outside the box because they’re going to still need donations coming in and we still want to be there to be able to help where we can.”

The four fire departments have come together with a goal of raising $250,000 in 24 hours for the two children’s charities.

Firefighters will be walking in teams of three for three-hour periods. Each firefighter will be walking the track while wearing firefighting equipment that can weigh as much as 60 pounds.

“We’re saying anyone can walk around the track in just running attire, but we are firefighters and we’re not going to go about doing something easy,” said Frenkel.

“We’re going to do what we do best and we’re going to work to earn our fundraising effort.”

Frenkel says the focus for the firefighter’s fundraising has always been on children and youth. Donations for both CFAX Santa’s Anonymous and Victoria Hospitals Foundation, which supports the neonatal intensive care unit at Victoria General Hospital, are needed year-round, says the firefighter.

“We’re out here to help everyone because there’s a lot of places that may be doing okay now, but in the coming year they may be seeing some hard times,” said Frenkel. “We want to make sure those places stay afloat.”

The marathon starts at 11 a.m. on June 27 at the Jack Wallace Memorial Track in Oak Bay.

The fundraiser will be adhering to all provincial health guidelines and will be limiting the number of spectators to 50. Donations to the fundraiser can also be made through the firefighters’ GoFundMe campaign here