Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 17, 2006
Cyclists urged to take a ride for poor children
Group to hold first Alta. bicycling tour
By BILL GLEN
CCCI is a Canadian Catholic non-government organization based in Springhill, N.S., with more than 29,000 sponsors bringing hope and relief to children and the elderly in 16 countries. Thirty-nine mission sites in Africa, Asia, Europe, South and Central America are supported by CCCI, including St. Peter's Catholic College in Kumbo, Cameroon.
"What permeated throughout the tour were the friendships and stories," Marr said. "We had well-organized rest stops. Whenever you have a group who puts out a great amount of effort, you have stories of aches and pains but at the same time, you have victories over challenges. It brought us together."
CCCI contacted Marr about an Alberta cycling event this June. She passed on some contact information of retreat houses within proximity to scenic locations.
Marian Cloutier, CCCI's volunteer coordinator, said Christian Child Care International is coming to the province because of the generosity shown by Albertans.
"We have a large supporter base in Alberta - the second largest in Canada. We want to grow Cycling for Children so we are taking it to where our support is," said Cloutier.
Cloutier is hoping to attract 50 people this June 29-30 to support Cycling for Children with a 90 km cycle from Olds to the secluded Sanctum Retreat Centre near Caroline.
Riders will enjoy a "pampered" over-night stay before returning to Olds the following day. The route takes the riders through some of Alberta's more picturesque landscapes.
A registration fee of $75 pays for accommodation, meals, support vehicles and a cycling jersey. Riders must wear helmets. Each person is responsible to pay costs to get to and from the starting point.
This is the fourth year for Cycling For Children in Canada, but a first for Alberta. Several guidelines are set out for participants to prepare them for the trip, including minimum fundraising requirements and a commitment - in advance - to physical training.
"Staying at Sanctum Retreat will maintain the spiritual aspect of the tour," Cloutier said.
- Photo supplied
Cyclists and helpers take a break during the 2004 Cycling for Children event in Nova Scotia.
CCCI will celebrate its 10th year this July. Father Pat Cosgrove started the organization in Springhill as an offshoot of a similar organization in the United States.
"He belonged to its board of directors when they moved up to Kitchener, Ont., in the early 1990s," Cloutier said. "After a couple of years, it became unsuccessful in the way they had anticipated. They were pulling out of Canada when Father Pat asked if he could take the concept to Springhill, where he was pastor. It was approved and we have been alive since 1996."
Funds raised this year through its Cycling for Children initiative will help St. Peter's College in Cameroon build an additional seven classrooms, three science labs and a library.
"The number of sponsors grows daily, and that's good news," Cloutier said.
All projects are independently administered by religious orders, parishes or lay organizations with a focus on educational, nutritional, medical and health needs.
With two other two-day rides this summer in Ontario and Nova Scotia, CCCI hopes to raise $100,000 for the Cameroon project.
For more information and registration, contact Marian Cloutier (toll free) at 1-866-311-6874, or email her at email@example.com.
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