Locals Scott Turnbull and Gavin Hammond set out to bike 500 kilometres on Aug. 7, and after cycling for nearly 20 hours through the day and night, they completed their journey with a total of $51,550 raised for Enliven Cancer Care.
After deciding to take on their longest bike ride yet, Turnbull and Hammond got the idea to make it a fundraiser for a local charity. They ultimately chose Enliven, a cancer centre offering support for patients, survivors and caregivers, as the beneficiary for the event. The two men started their ride midday on Aug. 7, biking from Windermere to Parry Sound and then through Almaguin Highlands before stopping for dinner in Sundridge. They continued on to Sprucedale and Huntsville with a break for a midnight swim in Baysville. The last leg of the ride took them through Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Washago and Port Carling as they looped back to Windermere for a total time of 19 hours and 44 minutes.
“We did this for Enliven because we believe in what they do,” Hammond said in a written statement. “We did this for our community because we believe that organizations like this keep communities strong. We did this to honour those close to us that were taken by this horrible disease that meant the world to us. What we didn’t see coming was the outpouring of support that we would have.”
Hammond said he’s still in disbelief that their original fundraising goal of $1,000 turned into more than $50,000 raised. Turnbull said he’s “grateful, overwhelmed and more than a little delirious after this epic adventure,” and he shares Hammond’s amazement at the support provided by people across Muskoka.
“When Gavin and I decided that we should top our previous long distance by doing a 500km ride this summer, we never thought that it could turn into this tsunami of support for the amazing people at Enliven Cancer Care,” Turnbull said in a written statement. “The ride itself was a challenge, but nowhere near the challenges that people and their families face every day with a cancer diagnosis. We’re beyond thrilled to have put so many eyes on this great organization and to have been the start of such an outpouring of community support.”
Cat Brown, head of Enliven’s fundraising committee, said awareness of Enliven’s services has been slowly growing over the past five years, but this is the first time community members have taken the initiative to raise money and awareness for the organization. The team at Enliven can’t thank them enough for their generosity and support.
“Enliven Cancer Care has been blown away by the overwhelming support we have received on behalf of Scott and Gav,” Brown said in a press release. “Their fundraising efforts have left us in shock and awe at the amazing support they have provided for us. As a small not-for-profit, we rely on community donations and grants to offer our services and this event has raised more for us than we ever could have imagined.”
To learn more about Enliven Cancer Centre, visit their website.