The first Soldiers’ Ride event was a huge success for the Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Foundation, raising over $70,000 for the areas of greatest need at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH).
On June 4, over 150 cyclists were treated to sunshine, scenic routes, and refreshments. Starting and ending at Quayle’s Brewery, participants chose to participate in either the 50 kilometer or 100 kilometer ride to support healthcare excellence for our community and region . It was a day of comradery for our cyclists and our Hospital.
“As a rider, I loved the energy that everyone brought to the day,” said Lawre Pietras, Soldiers’ Ride committee member and OSMH board member. “From the other riders, the sea of volunteers supporting the day, to the Quayle’s staff, their energy and enthusiasm made it a perfect day. And of course, the weather helped a little as well.”
The routes took cyclists through the beautiful and historic landscapes of Simcoe-Muskoka and included two pit stops, located at St. John’s Matchedash Anglican Church and Big Chute Marine Railway. The cyclists were able to stretch their legs, rehydrate, and enjoy a homemade butter tart before heading back out on the route.
After the ride, cyclists were greeted by friends and family. They had a celebratory farm fresh lunch at Quayle’s Brewery, paired with a craft beer of the participants choice. Quayle’s Brewery will also be donating one dollar from each purchase of Big Chute IPA on June 4 to OSMH.
The event organizers ensured that participant safety was a top priority. Motor marshals, pace cars, sweep cars, police, and first responders were all present to keep the traffic moving and make sure each rider was accounted for.
“154 riders went out on the routes and 154 riders came back, not a single Band-Aid was handed out,” said Ian Gordon, Soldiers’ Ride committee member and Safety Captain for the event.
The goal to raise $25,000 for OSMH was more than doubled through the successful event.
“We are so honoured to see support from so many individuals and businesses in our community,” said Kaitlyn St. Pierre, Senior Annual Giving Officer at OSMH Foundation and the event organizer. “So many members of the OSMH team supported this event through participation, donations to colleagues, and sponsorships. It was truly incredible.”
Soldiers’ Ride is the newest addition to the OSMH Foundation’s line-up of signature events. The 7th Annual Charlee’s Run recently raised over $150,000 for neonatal and paediatric needs at OSMH. The Soldiers’ Classic Golf Tournament and Annual Hospital Gala will be returning in the Fall.
“As our community continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, it is important to focus on healthcare excellence for generations to come,” said Carmine Stumpo, President and CEO of OSMH. “It was an honour to cycle alongside so many dedicated community members in what I am sure will be the first of many cycling events for our Hospital.”
To learn more about Soldiers’ Ride, visit www.soldiersride.ca