Stephieâ€™s Bike Tour a Success
Eight months in planning paid off this past weekend for the organizers of Stephieâ€™s Bike Tour, a fundraiser for the Stollery Childrenâ€™s Hospital Foundation. Founded by local residents Sheila and Richard Gagnon, whose seven-year-old daughter, Stephie, suffers from a rare autoimmune disorder (juvenile dermatomyositis or â€śJDMâ€ť), the event consisted of two bike runs: a 30km morning tour and a 5km afternoon family tour.
In all, the event attracted a total of over three hundred participants. The tour also had an extremely dedicated volunteer team, fifty of whom helped make the dayâ€™s event possible.
â€śItâ€™s a beautiful day, and a worthwhile cause,â€ť said Fort Saskatchewan Mayor Gale Katchur, who participated as a cyclist in the event. â€śWow, what a lot of energy out here today… our community has so much heart and soul,â€ť she continued.
Stephieâ€™s physician, Dr. Claire LeBlanc, also attended the event. Speaking at the mid-event presentation, she indicated how important fundraising events were for children like Stephie that are treated at the Stollery: â€śSome children need very expensive medication to treat JDM,â€ť she explained.
Although official numbers will not be available for a couple of weeks, organizers estimated at the event that they had raised between $25,000 and $30,000 for the Stollery.