YMCA Cycle for Strong Kids fundraiser exceeds $85,000

Donations expected to help 600 local kids access Y programs

Nearly 350 riders raised more than $85,000 for local children and youth participating last Sunday in the YMCA of Okanagan Cycle for Strong Kids.

It is estimated this amount will benefit more than 600 local kids.

Kelowna’s two-time Olympic medalist Kelsey Serwa, and Olympic biathlete Julia Ransom kicked off this year’s event, while local philanthropist Thomas Budd demonstrated his pedal power by matching the top individual fundraiser dollar for dollar, doubling Ramsay Brunton’s donation from $3,000 to $6,000.

Ramsay Brunton and his Graham Construction team participated in the 12th annual Cycle for Strong Kids event. Brunton was the top individual fundraiser with a donation of $3,000. Photo: Contributed

Ramsay Brunton and his Graham Construction team continue to support this event because they see the direct impact donations have on children in the community.

“I attend the Y regularly and see the delight on the faces of the young children in all of the programs that are available,” explained Ramsay Brunton, project manager of Graham Construction. “To be able to give a little back to the community through this event, not only puts a smile on a young face, it manages to put a smile on my face, and if it makes me smile, then it’s a good cause to support.”

Related: Young family finds support

With one in five children in the Central Okanagan living in poverty, many families are unable to enroll their kids in everyday activities most take for granted. Having equal access to character and strength building programs such as preschool, summer camps, sports, and swim lessons has a big impact on a child.

The YMCA Strong Kids Campaign allows the YMCA to financially subsidize programs and services for families who would otherwise not be able to participate.

These donations also allow the Y to offer select community programs completely free, teaching children critical life skills that will help them stay safe around water, keep up to their peers in school and remain healthy and active year-round.

Rhonda Zakala, the general manager of fund development for the YMCA of Okanagan, who has seen this event grown is size and success is appreciative of the generosity of sponsors and donors in the community.

“We are truly grateful for our presenting sponsors, Fresh Air and Delcourt Advisory Group at Scotia Wealth Management,” said Zakala. “As well as Kelowna Capital News, Castanet and all of our supporting sponsors for making YMCA Cycle for Strong Kids possible and helping us raise an outstanding amount for Okanagan children.”

For more information on the event and to see how you can get involved in next year’s Cycle for Strong Kids, contact Margo Buckley at 250-491-8672 or rzakala@ymcaokanagan.ca.

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