Shine Your Light Sunflower tour set for Aug. 20

MAPLETON – The third annual Shine Your Light Sunflower Tour is set for Aug. 20.

The fundraiser, hosted on Leona Ottens’ farm near Moorefield, is open to the public and promises a variety of activities, with all money raised going to local charities. The event will be held at 8563 Concession 6, Moorefield, from 9am to 5pm, with a run beginning at 10am.

Participants can run or walk  a 2km, 5km, or 10km route, with the registration fee set at $25 per person. Children run free. To register for the run visit

General event admission is $50 for five people:

Funds raised from general event admission are going to the Palmerston and District Hospital, with a goal of raising $18,000, enough to purchase an ECG machine for the hospital’s emergency unit.

“No matter what’s going on in the world we all need healthcare,” said Leona Ottens.

Money raised from the run portion of the event will go to two local Ukrainian families.

“The sunflower is the symbol of Ukraine, so we thought it was fitting,” Ottens explained in an email.

 This is the second year funds will go to Palmerston District Hospital.

“When my husband was sick with cancer… it was such a nice peace of mind knowing it was right there,” stated Ottens. 

Leona and Matt Ottens started the fundraiser three years ago to celebrate Matt’s fifth year in remission. They fundraised for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Wheels of Hope program. 

Matt Ottens tragically passed away on Conestogo Lake last year, but Leona has pressed on with the event.

“As a mom when you tuck your kids into bed at night, it’s nice to know that hospital’s right there,” she added.

In past years over 1,000 event-goers could be accommodated each year because of distancing and pre-registered timeslots. This year booking ahead of time is encouraged to guarantee admittance, but not mandatory.

The event will feature a self-guided tour through sunflower fields, a homegrown and handmade market with 18 vendors, live music, and plenty of activities for youngsters.

There will also be support from local organizations, with the Drayton Kinsmen running a food booth, and the Alma Optimists selling ice cream. 

“The foundation is grateful for events like the Shine Your Light Sunflower Tour and for people like Leona Ottens and her family.” said Palmerston and District Hospital Foundation development officer Dale Franklin.

“Our hospital relies heavily on the support of our local community to raise funds and purchase all of the equipment needed in the hospital.”

Franklin, who is also part of the sunflower tour organizing committee, added, “With few exceptions, equipment is not funded by the government and the purchase of this ECG machine for the emergency department will allow our physicians and staff to continue to provide excellent quality care close to home.”