The Oceanside Wheelers finished in second place during a recent Island-wide cycling event, raising $21,196 for the Oceanside Hospice Society.
The ride, which raises money for hospice care on the Island, looked a little different this year, with riders doing the challenge virtually due to COVID-19. Julie Chamber, executive director at the Oceanside Hospice Society, said it was amazing to see the team pull together through the pandemic.
“I am in awe of how this team took on this enormous challenge, and for everything they have done to raise money and awareness for the Oceanside Hospice Society. When the COVID-19 crisis struck, our fundraising income plummeted by 70 per cent due to events and fundraising opportunities being cancelled,” she said. “Therefore, to have this kind of support and commitment from each of the team members was more important than ever to make up the shortfall and ensure that we can continue providing our services in the months ahead. It is with sincere gratitude and thanks to these wonderful volunteers for their dedication, commitment and hard work, truly amazing!”
Shianne Carswell, co-captain of the Oceanside Wheelers and fund development co-ordinator for the Oceanside Hospice Society, has been participating in the event for three years. Usually, it’s a multi-day, intense ride. This year, people spaced out 200 kilometres of riding in 20 days.
“Most of our riders are very good cyclists, so they ride a lot more than that anyway, so it was not a problem for them, but for the rest of us it was still really great to be able to ride 20 kilometres in 10 days kind of thing,” said Carswell.
She said she was inspired to join the team after seeing the dedication of other members. Carswell said she’s seen how hospice reaches people and wanted to contribute to what the team was achieving through their fundraising.
“They’re so committed to doing it each and every year and it is not easy and these guys are over 75, each of them, and they just kick my butt, they’re riding like you can’t even imagine,” she said. “It’s pretty inspirational and they also raise a lot of money and they’re so dedicated to doing it each and every year.”
The team is still accepting donations at www.cycleoflifetour.ca.