Bike-a-thon: having fun and raising money

 

“It was a wonderful day. It certainly was perfect for walking and biking,” said Dough Grenkie, in reference to the Children’s Treatment Centre Bike-a-thon Plus held on May 26th in South Dundas.

This is the second year that Dough Grenkie and Lyle Van Allen volunteered to organize and run the South Dundas portion of the  Bike-a-thon Plus. The event is held concurrently with the treatment centre’s Cornwall event. Next year, according to Grenkie, they hope to expand to include North Dundas.

The Bike-a-thon Plus trail in South Dundas ran between the Docksyde in Morrisburg and Iroquois Point with two checkpoints in between where volunteers were on hand to provide bottled water and fresh fruit.

“I feel as though participation was low,” admitted Van Allen, however, “I’m happy with what we did accomplish. You always wish for better. Maybe another year will be better yet.”

Van Allen’s granddaughter, Cassandra Thompson, participated in the charity event, biking on her own  from Morrisburg to Iroquois.

“We’re making people aware that this agency is there to help children and there is no financial aid from government,” said Van Allen, pointing out that the treatment centre is run solely on donations. 

According to Grenkie, the South Dundas portion of the event raised “well over $5,000.” Donations are still trickling in and, therefore, exact numbers are not yet available.

“Anybody can give money any time of the year and it will be gratefully accepted.”

“The support of the Bank of Montreal managers and staff was phenomenal from all branches,” said Grenkie. Iroquois, Morrisburg, Finch, Winchester and Ingleside branches were all involved. “It will be a record donation for Dundas County.”

Cathy Osborne and her daughter Samantha, part of the Iroquois BMO group, made it all the way to the first checkpoint from the Docksyde. According to Cathy, her BMO group raised over $1,400.

In addition to the Osborne mother-daughter team,  a couple of energetic Morrisburg and District Lions Club Leos also made it to the first checkpoint and beyond. Chase Dunkley and Dean Mark biked the entire circuit from Morrisburg to Iroquois and back again. The Morrisburg Lions Club raised $840 for the Bike-a-thon.

“It really helps to have the Lions Clubs and the Leos,” said Grenkie. Both Iroquois-Matilda Lions Club and the Morrisburg and District Lions Club were active volunteers and participants for the May 26th event.

“There were a lot more walkers than bikers,” continued Grenkie. “I was a little disappointed that the participation was down.” Grenkie biked from the Docksyde in Morrisburg to Iroquois Point.

Next year, with a hopeful expansion to include North Dundas, Grenkie said he hopes to “get the whole community involved” as the Children’s Treatment Centre services all of Dundas County. 

The Children’s Treatment Centre, stationed in Cornwall, services the United Counties and Akwesasne. There are psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors on staff ready to treat children aged 5 through 17 affected by physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

The centre doesn’t require professional referrals and there aren’t any lengthy waiting periods.

“The publicity from the Bank of Montreal and The Leader was phenomenal,” said Grenkie. “More people have learned about this facility that has been here for about 15 years.”

Van Allen agreed, saying that “more people know about the Children’s Treatment Centre today than three years ago, so that’s a good thing.” 

For more information on the Children’s Treatment Centre,  phone 613-933-4400 or go to their website at www.ctc-sdg.com.

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