Twelve-year-old Jordan Cupit doesn’t mind getting ice-cold water dumped on him while crawling through an obstacle course, or challenging himself to climb onto monkey bars when he has a disability that makes it difficult. He doesn’t mind because it means some kid, less fortunate than himself, will get some shoes to be able to go to school.
Cupit will be participating in Ruben’s Ruckus, a three-kilometre obstacle course around Lake Lafarge in Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park on May 11. It’s to support Ruben’s Shoes, a charity that collects gently used shoes so children can go to school, and invests in education projects, locally and globally.
The first Ruben’s Ruckus was held last year. Cupit had so much fun he’ll be back.
“I wanted to do it so I could help kids who were in need of shoes and schools,” said Cupit, a student at Kwikwetlem middle school. “I just got wet where they had an ice bucket you had to go under.”
He knew the monkey bars would be tough. Cupit has developmental coordination disorder. Children with it have difficulty learning motor skills for even simple tasks.
“It’s hard for me to climb on stuff,” said Cupit. But he did. “It was like I achieved something.”
His mother, Melissa Cupit, watched her son succeed in getting around the course.
“I knew there would be some that would be difficult for him,” she said. “It is difficult to watch, but the people there were cheering him on.”
Ruben’s Shoes founder Kelly Strongitharm, who began the charity after meeting a boy named Ruben in the Dominican Republic running around without shoes and unable to attend school, said the organization was looking for a creative way to raise money and awareness.
“I’d just been to so many galas, dinners. I just wanted to do something for the kids,” said Strongitharm. “My idea was a mini-tough mudder. There was nothing like it in the Tri-Cities.
“It turned out better than we could have ever imagined it.
“I could say it was one of the best days of my life … The kids were really gung-ho talking about our cause, spreading the word and see how much they could personally raise and see how they could do on the course, which was inspiring.”
Although some of the time slots are already sold out, registration online can be done at rubensshoes.com/ruckus and the cost is $40.