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Nature’s Emporium Run for Southlake – SL5K Virtual Challenge Participant Story: Tara Roy-DiClemente and Family

Monday July 6, 2020

  • Blog

2020 marks the tenth year since Tara Roy-DiClemente began participating in the Nature’s Emporium Run for Southlake, and the event has become an annual fixture in her family’s active life. Her 12 and 13-year-old sons, Jason and Evan, have been participating since they were in strollers, and this year worked together to get their school involved with a Pickering College team. Tara’s youngest, 8-year-old Maya, was thrilled to be participating for the first time – though technically it wouldn’t be her first time on the course, since Tara was pregnant with Maya when she participated in one of her earliest races.

So when the event was postponed due to COVID-19, Tara was worried that their family plans to participate might not work out as they’d hoped.

“I’ve been participating for so many years, I was disappointed to think we might not be able to support the hospital this year,” Tara said. “I’m really excited to see it continue virtually so we still have the opportunity to support our hospital at a time when they need it most.”

As a long-time fundraiser through this event, Tara understands the importance of supporting the hospital’s most urgent priorities – things like new and replacement tools and equipment that are not funded by the government. The East Gwillimbury resident and Councillor is also team captain of Team EG, and has helped raise more than $56,600 through this event since she got involved. That same drive for supporting her family’s and community’s hospital is something that she’s passed on to her kids.

This year, she’s helping raise money to support the SL5K Virtual Challenge through selling homemade masks and matching scrunchies. Tara came up with the idea to help her daughter, who was nervous about wearing a mask during the pandemic.

“I was trying to think, how do I normalize this? How do I make it fun for her?” Tara said. “So to address her worries about being safe and wearing a mask, we decided to make masks and scrunchies for friends and family, with proceeds to the Foundation. We called it ‘Stay Safe & Stay Pretty’.”

The family is already brainstorming what activities they might want to try during the 5-day kilometre challenge in September. They’re even considering doing a different activity each day, and are using the event as a motivator to get active during this pandemic, when regular activities are on pause.

The format of the new event is flexible enough to allow us to get creative, so my family’s considering doing things like riding bikes, scootering – we’re hoping to get creative with it and we plan to be active for each of the five days in some fashion.


From Sept 23-27, 2020, join us on a virtual mission to see just how much ground you can cover, while raising vital funds for Southlake through this year’s re-imagined Nature’s Emporium Run for Southlake –  SL5K Virtual Challenge!

During this unique 5-day virtual kilometre challenge, participate in ANY distance-based activity (run, walk, bike, row, or even hopscotch… whatever strikes your mood!) with ANY distance goal. While we may be apart this year, you are not alone. And now more than ever, we need your help to raise $150,000! We can’t do it without YOU, our communities! So join us to show your support and help us continue to provide leading edge care, close to home.

For more information about the virtual event or to register, visit!