Powered by over 30 leg-cranking riders, the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Big Bike cruised through the streets of Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake on June 13 to raise community awareness on heart disease.
In Vanderhoof, 23 participating team members — including representation from Royal LePage, Vanderhoof and Districts Co-op, and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations — raised $3,579 in total towards heart and stroke research. Fraser Lake’s community team of 11 riders, named the Spirit of Fraser Lake, raised $1,123 this year.
While the ministry in Vanderhoof participated in the campaign every year for the last decade, Co-op has returned this season after a four-year hiatus, said Lori Cruddas, northern B.C. and Yukon manger of the foundation.
“A great show of spirit from the community,” she said. “Old teams and new teams are what makes the campaign vibrant.”
Co-op’s 14 participating employees individually collected more than $1,250 in donations, which were matched by the company up to $1,000.
“After missing the ride for the past couple of years, we were determined to be a part of this fun ride again this year,” said general manager Allan Bieganski. “ We have already signed on to ride the bike again next year, and are looking forward to having a chance to beat this year’s donation.”
Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake are two of 200 communities in nine provinces that the 30-person bike was pedalled through this season.
Presented by Dairy Farmers of Canada, the annual event started in February with contributions from the community through a door-to-door campaign, and the foundation aims to raise $8.36 million across the country this year.