For as long as I can remember, I’ve been of the mindset that we are here to help each other, that we are all connected – the foundation of my work philosophy in personal training, lifestyle coaching and health and wellness.  This mindset compels me to get more involved in my community, to give back and support the many great initiatives that support even greater causes in Niagara.  Here are a few self-initiatives, which I created, as well as a summary of some of my favorite local causes that I participate in;

Community - Self Initiative

Tuned Into Summer Event – Dinner & Trivia Night, Live Music - In support of the Rankin Cancer Run Foundation

Inspired by Mary Ann Edwards and the Rankin Run committee, I created this fun and entertaining fundraising event that took place on July 16th, 2009. A sold out event, 15 tables of 8 feasted on a delicious meal…competed against each other in game of music trivia for a chance to win awesome prizes, and were entertained with live music from The Durka Durkas. The event raised $6,000 and was donated towards the Rankin Cancer Run.

*Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Paul Kent of “An Affair To Remember” and  other local support,  like La Cachette Resturant, Performance Acura, Konzelmann Winery, Debbie Wieb from the St. Catharines Standard, my support team of Carole Apking and Charlene Gill and all who attended this event. Also, thank you to The Durka Durkas for donating their time!  It would not have been the success that it was without all of you. *

Ride for Red Roof – In support of Red Roof Retreat

A local business (which operates under a basis of charitable donations) that provides respite and education programs for children and young adults with special needs. With the help of Tricia Keyes of La Cachette Restaurant, we organized a bike ride/BBQ fundraising event on June 6, 2009 with all the proceeds being donated to Red Roof Retreat.

Thank you very much to all who attended.

Community – Participation

Ranking Cancer Run 

This home-grown initiative made its mark in Niagara in 2005 and has raised more than $3 million dollars for local cancer support organizations.In May of 2004, I personally connected with this event’s philosophy of keeping the fund local and entered a team in their inaugural run.  Since then, I have entered a team every year in support of this annual event.

The Big Move Cancer Ride

This non-competitive ride takes place in early September and raises money in support of the Walker Family Cancer Centre. The event includes a 50K, 100K and 100 mile Century Challenge through the Niagara Region starting and ending at Club Roma in St. Catharines. 

I felt compelled to take part in this event and have done so in 2010 and 2011.  My brother Rick was driving back and forth to Hamilton for his treatment for leukemia at the Juravinski Cancer Centre - Hamilton Health Sciences.  With the addition of the new Walker Family Cancer Centre, located within the new hospital here in St. Catharines, the need to drive out of town for cancer treatments will no longer be necessary. 

Thank you to everyone who supported and pledged me in these great causes!

Community – Support

The Niagara Unit of the Canadian Cancer Society proudly presents The Grapes of Wrath Niagara’s Extreme Survival Race

This exciting new fundraising event is about survival of the fittest and puts all those other run-of-the-mill, cookie-cutter marathon runs to shame! The Grapes of Wrath Niagara’s Extreme Survival Race ain’t your average charity run. This 5K extreme run demands endurance to trudge through hills and valleys, splash through winding streams, courage to overcome uncompromising obstacles, and a complete lack of shame to sludge through dirt and mud all in the name of a good cause. Grapes of Wrath Niagara’s Extreme Survival Race is more than just about finishing the race, it’s about raising awareness and much needed fundsThe money raised from the event funds the Canadian Cancer Society’s Wheels of Hope Transportation Program in Niagara – helping local cancer patients get to life saving treatment.

When I was asked to become part of this new local fundraising event, I was honored to be associated with such a worthwhile initiative!  It was only a few years prior to this that my brother Rick was diagnosed with leukemia and was driving back and forth to Hamilton for his treatment at the Juravinski Cancer Centre. He was fortunate to have the support of his family to get him to and from his treatments, but I could appreciate the need for such a valuable service for those who don’t have such support systems in place.

I was asked to be a part of the committee that developed this event. I was also asked to  create both an online training program and group boot camp and I was all to honoured to help out.  This event was an overwhelming success with over 330 participants, 57 teams and raised more than $87,000 in its inaugural year!

A special thanks to all that supported, donated and attended this event.  I hope to see you all in GOW 2013 on Saturday, July 6, 2013! 

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