Caribou Charity Ride Celebrates Ten Years
#LSN_Health John Sims, Andrea Docherty, Alan Cranston, Devon Sokoloski
Thunder Bay, ON) – During a lifetime, everyone will be affected by cancer. Ten years ago, the Caribou Charity Ride was created to give all kinds of people the motivation to challenge themselves while contributing to exceptional cancer care in Northwestern Ontario.
Taking place each year in September, this cycling event has always given everyone the opportunity to join the Ride. From recreational cyclists, to hard-core cycling enthusiasts, all that’s needed to join is a bike, a helmet and determination.
Organizers are thrilled that this year’s Ride, on Sunday, September 9, marks a real milestone in the event’s history. “To have an event run for ten years is pretty remarkable,” said John Sims, a member of the event’s organizing committee. “Each year we rely heavily on the support of our very generous sponsors who make it possible to give back so much to the Northern Cancer Fund. And of course, our participants are incredible; many of whom come back to ride year after year. We are always amazed by how this event really brings people together, and I think a large part of that has to do with the cause. We know that we’re able to have a significant impact on access to leading-edge cancer care right here at home in Northwestern Ontario through the money we give to the Northern Cancer Fund.”
Altogether, in the past nine years, the event has raised $308,433.66 which has funded cancer care equipment at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and at Hospitals across Northwestern Ontario where cancer care treatment is available. Andrea Docherty, Program Director, Regional Cancer Care Northwest said, “We are extremely grateful for the long-standing support provided by the Caribou Charity Ride. Cancer is a journey that no one should face alone, and having diagnostic and treatment equipment here locally allows us to keep our patients closer to home, surrounded by friends and family, which makes a tremendous difference in their care.”
Organizers are hoping to raise even more for the Northern Cancer Fund during this milestone year and are giving participants the opportunity to help. “Every person who registers will be able to create an online giving page where they can collect donations from friends/family/colleagues/neighbours, you name it!” said Sims. “We can’t wait to see how our loyal participants take their participation in this Ride to the next level with this fundraising opportunity.” In addition to feeling good about fundraising, participants who collect donations have a chance to win two return tickets anywhere Westjet flies. They will receive one ballot for every $50 raised.
Devon Sokoloski, Special Events Officer from the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation added, “We’re looking forward to working with the participants in the Caribou Charity Ride to make this year bigger and better than ever!” Sokoloski explained that once someone registers with the Ride, they’ll be given information on how to set up their giving page. Those looking to support any Ride participant, can donate at healthsciencesfoundation.ca/charityride.
In addition to the additional fundraising opportunities, Sims was excited to announce a new route that will be available this year, in addition to the traditional 50 km, 75 km and 100 km routes. “We decided to put together a gravel route, to give those who’d like that experience a way to do it as part of the Ride. I’m really eager to hear the feedback of those who end up choosing this route this year.”
As always, participants must register in advance for the Ride, and can do so at www.cariboucharityride.com. Registration is $85 (if completed by Sept 6) and includes a Caribou Charity Ride T-shirt, the post-ride Luncheon at the Best Western Nor’Wester Hotel and Conference Centre, and a Kit Bag with Swag. The last call for registrations is by Sept 8, but the price jumps to $100.
“Getting out on my bike and enjoying this Ride with so many people is a highlight of my year,” said Sims. “I can’t wait to do it again and I know there are many people who join me in our enthusiasm for this event. Now all we need is great weather!”