Post-ride group photo of Ride2Survive cyclists posted to the fundraiser’s Facebook page, via rider Lana Elizabeth. (Facebook.com)

Swansong Ride2Survive raises $1M-plus in single-day cycle from Kelowna to Delta

Saturday’s ride was the 15th and final fundraiser of its kind for North Delta-based charity event

Saturday’s swansong Ride2Survive raised more than $1 million for a cancer-related cause.

The 15th and final fundraiser of its kind saw close to 150 brave cyclists pedal from Kelowna to Delta in a single day, during an annual event designed to reflect a typically hard day in the life of a cancer patient in treatment.

Starting at around 3 a.m. in the Okanagan city, the cyclists rolled southwest over the next 20-something hours – a gruelling experience for all involved, through whatever weather Mother Nature throws their way.

It was cold on the Coquihalla Highway at times, and some headwinds slowed the cyclists on their way to the Lower Mainland.

At around midnight, the finish line was at Cap’s South Shore Cycle, on Scott Road near 80th Avenue.

Videos and photos are posted to the event’s Facebook page.

The Ride2Survive is considered the Canadian Cancer Society’s biggest independent fundraising event.

A small army of volunteers, including cyclists and support crew, has raised more than $8 million since it all began as a much smaller fundraiser in the mid-2000s.

On Monday morning (June 24), the event’s donation website showed a total of $1,062,387 raised during the 2019 ride.

• RELATED STORY: ‘It’s been quite a ride’: Swansong for Ride2Survive as cyclists pedal 400K in single day one final time.

For event founders Kerry and Vicki Kunzli, who live in North Delta, and other volunteers who plan the annual event, the time has come to close this chapter of their lives.

“The logistical challenges of doing the ride are getting fragile, with all of it,” Kerry Kunzli said before Saturday’s final ride.

“It’s bittersweet,” he added, “because I was there for the first one and all the way through. We’re looking forward to just getting back on our bikes instead of planning this big ride all the time.”

The initiative will live on as a “fundraising bike club,” Kerry noted.

“Many riders still want to be part of this,” he said. “We’ll still do banquets and pole sits, raffles and fundraisers, whether we ride from Kelowna or around the block. It’s a long ride, and a lot of people still want to ride with the club. It’ll be community club – a fundraising club with a cycling problem,” he added with a laugh.

This year, because it was the last ride of its kind, more people than usual signed up to cycle.

“Usually we get about 100 riders, and we’ve had around 140 in years five and 10, so this is the most we’ve ever had in a single year, for sure,” Kunzli said.

Via Canadian Cancer Society, donations are directed to research projects without any deductions for costs or administration, he underlined.

“This is unique among fundraising events and is possible because we are all volunteers and we pay all the costs of the event,” Kerry says in a message to potential donors.

Kerry said “it’s been quite a ride,” in more ways than one.

“It blows us away when we start thinking back what’s taken place here,” he said. “It’s a pile of money we’ve raised, and yeah, we’re proud of that. We never imagined what this turned into over the past 15 years.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Snowbirds to perform at Boundary Bay Airshow

The nine-aircraft team and a CF-18 Hornet will be practicing over Delta beginning Friday (July 19)

FOCUS: Federal election campaign heating up in Surrey

Lazy days of summer interrupted by knocks on residents’ doors by incumbents, would-be MPs in pursuit of votes

Surrey survey details new sports stadium planned at Bear Creek Park

The proposed facility ‘will upgrade an existing track and sports field to international standards’

Actors all aboard!

Creative Compass and Langley Historical Society hold auditions for CN Station vignettes

OUR VIEW: Denying delegations is not what Surrey council was elected to do

To be an elected official is to be a servant, not a censor

VIDEO: Bloodhounds join the search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Petsearchers Canada arrive in town Monday afternoon to help out

Nine kittens and cats rescued after being locked in bins in northern B.C.: SPCA

SPCA says cats were starving, and matted with feces and urine

Woman grabbed, followed on trail near SFU campus: Burnaby RCMP

The woman told police a man was following and tried to talk to her

ICBC insurance renewals get more complicated this year

Crash history, driver risk prompt more reporting requirements

High-speed rail link would run from Vancouver to Seattle in under 1 hour: study

Annual ridership is projected to exceed three million

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

U.S. tug firm to be sentenced for 2016 spill in B.C. First Nation’s territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

Asylum figures show overall slower rate of irregular crossings into Canada

Between January and June 2019, a total of 6,707 asylum seekers crossed irregularly into Canada

Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

Most Read