Nearly 350 riders raised over $85,000 for local children and youth at the YMCA of Okanagan’s largest fundraiser of the year, Cycle for Strong Kids. It is estimated this amount will benefit more than 600 local kids.
Kelowna’s two-time Olympic medalist Kelsey Serwa, and Olympic biathlete Julia Ransom kicked off this year’s event, while local philanthropist Thomas Budd demonstrated his pedal power by matching the top individual fundraiser dollar for dollar, doubling Ramsay Brunton’s donation from $3,000 to $6,000.
Ramsay Brunton and his Graham Construction team continue to support this event because they see the direct impact donations have on children in the community.
“I attend the Y regularly and see the delight on the faces of the young children in all of the programs that are available,” says Brunton. “To be able to give a little back to the community through this event, not only puts a smile on a young face, it manages to put a smile on my face, and if it makes me smile, then it’s a good cause to support.”
With one in five children in the Central Okanagan living in poverty, many families are unable to enroll their kids in everyday activities most take for granted. Having equal access to character and strength building programs such as preschool, summer camps, sports, and swim lessons has a big impact on a child.
The YMCA Strong Kids Campaign allows the YMCA to financially subsidize programs and services for families who would otherwise not be able to participate. These donations also allow the Y to offer select community programs completely free, teaching children critical life skills that will help them stay safe around water, keep up to their peers in school and remain healthy and active year-round.
Photo: Olympic gold medalist Kelsey Serwa kicked off this year’s Cycle for Strong Kids event by energizing the crowd of riders.