Port Carling Fitness Studio Raises Nearly $30,000 For West Muskoka Food Bank

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Chelsey Reid at Studio 3. Photo courtesy of Chelsey Reid

Studio 3 in Port Carling hosted a Spin 4 Food fundraising event on Dec. 16, bringing together nearly 50 participants for a COVID-safe spin that raised almost $30,000 for West Muskoka Food Bank.

Chelsey Reid, owner of Studio 3, first started fundraising for the food bank back in March when her studio was shut down due to COVID-19. Hoping to bolster the food bank’s supply during the pandemic, she started offering virtual classes by donation to the food bank. From March to August, she was able to raise over $8,000 with the help of the Studio 3 community. As the holiday season approached, she started to consider how she could once again get people excited to make donations to the food bank.

“I decided that maybe we could raise $1,000 an hour if I did a spin for five hours,” Reid said. “Being that my birthday was in December as well, I thought it would be a great way to celebrate my birthday and celebrate the community.”

Studio 3 owner Chelsey Reid after the Spin 4 Food event. Photo courtesy of Chelsey Reid

Reid mentioned the idea to a few of her clients and Muskoka Lumber quickly stepped forward offering to match the $5,000 fundraising goal for the event. She decided to build on the momentum by reaching out to other businesses within Port Carling and the surrounding community, and she was soon overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity and willingness to provide support. 

Reid originally planned to do 12 days of “Community’mas” on social media to promote the Spin 4 Food event, filling the days with a variety of content, but the response from the local business community allowed her to announce a new donation each day instead.

“I had so many businesses that we went from 12 days to 15 days, and beyond that, I could have gone more,” Reid said. “We had collectively over 20 businesses in the local area contribute to the cause, so I was just overwhelmed that our small but mighty community was able to come together and everyone was just so generous, especially with the pandemic. Everyone’s recognizing that there is a huge draw on our food banks right now and people want to give back.”

Between contributions from local businesses, sponsors for the spin participants and other donations, the event raised $29,380 in addition to the $8,000 raised earlier in the year. Reid has been in contact with the team at West Muskoka Food Bank since March, and she was thrilled to provide them with such a large donation during the holidays.

“They’ve been extremely supportive and appreciative of everything that this community has done, and they’re really excited,” Reid said. “This is going to be a huge chunk of their overall budget that they have in a year, so we are ahead of the game going into next year, which puts a lot of people in our community at ease knowing that these families will be nourished.”

Geordie Newlands shares an update on his Instagram during the spin. Image courtesy of Geordie Newlands

Geordie Newlands, a member of Studio 3 and president of Summer Water Sports (SWS) based in Port Carling, decided to participate in the spin and donate $500 on behalf of SWS. He was amazed by the success of the event as well as the intensity of the spin, so while it may have left him sore and exhausted, it was worth it.

“That’s just a small sacrifice and small amount of pain for what families in Muskoka deal with on a daily basis that have food insecurity, so it’s worth the pain for the gain,” Newlands said.

Newlands was on the bike for four hours as he gave up one hour so that a friend could participate, but next year, he hopes to spin for all five hours, and it looks like he’ll get the chance. Going forward, Reid said the fundraiser will be an annual event.

“We agreed yesterday amongst the almost 50 people that went through here that we’re going to do it again next year,” Reid said. “It’ll give us something all to look forward to during this time of year and hopefully next year, the pandemic will be relieved and we can get more people in here spinning and raise even more money.”

Watch the clip below to see Studio 3 owner Chelsey Reid announce the fundraising total to the community.

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