Port Alberni RCMP Cst. Maria Marciano leads the Wounded Warriors runners into Port Alberni on Thursday afternoon. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS) Sydney Fournier holds up a homemade sign for Port Alberni RCMP Cst. Maria Marciano as the Wounded Warriors arrive in town. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS) Friends of Port Alberni Cst. Maria Marciano cheer her on as the Wounded Warriors runners arrive in Port Alberni on Thursday, Feb. 27. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS) Port Alberni RCMP Const. Maria Marciano, a member of the Wounded Warriors BC run, and other teammates greet a packed room at a fundraising spaghetti dinner at the Royal Canadian Legion Br. 293 on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News) Wounded Warrior runner Maria Marciano, a constable with Port Alberni RCMP, shares an emotional moment with Sharon Entner, whose son Const. Doug Rentz died suddenly a year ago while off duty. Marciano and Rentz worked the same watch. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News) The Wounded Warriors team poses for a team photo outside the Royal Canadian Legion Br. 293 in Port Alberni on Feb. 27, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News) Members of the public as well as some of the late Const. Doug Rentz’s family members sign a Wounded Warriors flag that travelled with the team for the duration of the eight-day run across Vancouver Island. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News) Wounded Warrior runner Mike Bowen, with the Canadian Coast Guard, runs the Hump—the Alberni Summit—on Highway 4 on the way to Port Alberni on Feb. 27, 2020. (JOHN W. PENNER/ John’s Photography) Port Alberni RCMP Const. Maria Marciano thanks several of the Alberni Valley first responders who helped raise $6,100 for the Wounded Warrior BC Run. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
The arrival of the Wounded Warriors BC Run in Port Alberni was celebrated throughout the community on Feb. 27, 2020.
Eight runners ran the length of Vancouver Island, starting in Port Hardy on Feb. 23, to raise funds for Wounded Warriors Canada. The event concluded on Sunday, March 1 in Victoria.
The group was led into Port Alberni on Thursday, Feb. 27 by local RCMP Const. Maria Marciano. Her friends and colleagues cheered her on as she rounded Highway 4 into the Alberni Valley.
Marciano asked to join the run last year after a fellow constable from her watch, Doug Rentz, died suddenly at home while off duty. He was 41.
“It was amazing,” Marciano said of running down the Hump into Port Alberni. “Seeing the first responders, paramedics, fire, and my own guys, the RCMP, it shows that we are all in this together. We are all working for the same goal.
“Losing my partner, Doug, really brought everything to the forefront for me. I really wanted to bring awareness to mental health and to the great work that Wounded Warriors does, and to their great programs.”
Rentz’s mother Sharon and other family members attended the dinner. Sharon was appreciative for all the work the Legion and other volunteers put into bringing the run to Port Alberni for the second year in a row.
“It’s through their shared values and commitment along with Wounded Warriors Canada and their common goal of raising awareness, helping and supporting veterans, first responders and their families that made the evening a success,” she said the next day.
Various emergency personnel put on three fundraisers and collected $6,100 to give to the run in Marciano’s name.
The spaghetti dinner, donation from the Legion women’s auxiliary and auctioning off of two rare Wounded Warriors challenge coins netted more than $2,500. The run raised nearly $200,000.
Wounded Warrior Canada