Organizers of the annual Beau’s 5k for Ovarian Cancer Canada are aiming to break the $250,000 mark for funds raised by the popular event since it was first held six years ago.

The Beau’s 5k, which was hosted as a virtual event in 2020, raised an astonishing $45,000 for Ovarian Cancer Canada last year, which brought the total funds raised by the event over 5 years to $205,000. This year organizers have set the same goal of $45,000, which would bring the total raised to more than a quarter-million dollars.

“We were happily surprised with how it worked out last year,” said Steve Beauchesne, Chief Executive Officer for Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company. “If you go back a year, nobody knew what to expect from anything, so getting those kind of results was pretty encouraging.”

The Beau’s 5K for Ovarian Cancer Canada is held each year in memory of Vankleek Hill’s Ashley Courtois (Cowan), whose friends and family started the race when Ashley was diagnosed with the disease in 2015. Ashley passed away from her cancer in 2018, but the race has carried on in honour of her strength and spirit, and her love of running.

“It’s a celebration for us of Ashley and it’s a way for all of us to remember her and how hard she fought,” Beauchesne said, noting the 5k is a very special event to the small town brewery, which endeavours to make a difference in the community in which it is based.

“It gives us purpose. We’re here not to just make great beer; we’re here to help our community be strong and vibrant,” explains the CEO of Beau’s Brewery. “This event really allows us to do that, so it is very much a part of our DNA.”

The 2021 Beau’s 5K for Ovarian Cancer Canada will take place on Saturday, July 3. As in 2020, instead of coming to the brewery, organizers are asking particpants to run or walk their 3K, 5K and 10K distances safely, in their own neighbourhoods or at home.

Entry fee is a $40 tax-deductible donation to Ovarian Cancer Canada. While the run is open to an unlimited number of participants, registering online early is still strongly encouraged, so participants have extra time to raise pledge funds from friends and family. To obtain more information on the 2021 Beau’s 5K for Ovarian Cancer Canada, or to register, enter the following link

While the event will be virtual again in 2021, there is a strong possibility of a huge bonus for local particpants this year – the patio at Beau’s Brewery is expected to be open for socially distanced celebrating after the run.

“We believe we will be able to have our patio open the day of the run, which last year wasn’t a possibility,” Beauchesne said. “We don’t think at this point we’ll be able to hold a physical run, but we’ll still be able to open up the patio for groups of four to come and celebrate afterwards.”

With $205,000 raised since 2015, the Beau’s 5k for Ovarian Cancer Canada has make a significant difference for many women in the country fighting the disease.

“We’re very proud of that and really proud of the Cowan and Courtois families for allowing us to work with them to make this happen,” the CEO of Beau’s Brewing said.

Organizers at Beau’s anticipate a return to the regular format of hosting the run at the brewery itself in 2022. A virtual portion of the event will continue to be held, which Beauchesne hopes will expand participation and provide a fundraising benefit to the Beau’s 5k in the long term.

“Now that you can do it virtually, you can participate in the 5k anywhere in the world. That would be a really nice silver lining.”