Great weather results in ‘stellar’ CTC Bike-A-Thon Plus

Erika Oeggerli from Bainsville and cycling partner, Louise Sommers from Lancaster, talk after giving each other a high-five after completing the cycling event. Scenes from the Children's Treatment Center Bike-A-Thon Plus Saturday, May 28, 2016 at St. Lawrence College in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – While the Children’s Treatment Center Bike-A-Thon Plus has been taking place for years, it was also an exciting first for a number of SD&G participants.

The second largest fundraiser for the CTC was held today (May 28) at St. Lawrence College in Cornwall, along the shore of the St. Lawrence River, with some satellite events in South Dundas.

Rosanne Fortier of Cornwall was cycling after being encouraged by a group of girlfriends to take part.

“It was a last-minute decision for me today so it’s the first one I do. It was just getting together with some friends and to support the cause, of course,” Fortier told Cornwall Newswatch.

So would she do it again? “Absolutely! It was a nice festive atmosphere and it was my pleasure to donate, to register. I will plan it out more next time,” Fortier laughed.

Participants were treated to a barbecue and entertainment from the MacCulloch Dancers and The Brigadoons.

Erika Oeggerli of Bainsville and Louise Sommers of Lancaster also rolled in on their bicycles around 11:30 a.m.

Sommers has done the CTC Bike-A-Thon Plus for over ten years and convinced Oeggerli to take part this year.

“I was lucky. I hit a beautiful day for a first time rider. The trail is beautiful, the biking path, it’s just nice to see everybody participate,” Oeggerli said.

Sommers explained why she’s done the event for over a decade. “I feel it’s important to give the children a new direction in their lives and a chance to a better life,” she said.

“It’s amazing (the work of the Children’s Treatment Center) and it’s encouraging to see the community come together and support each other…it’s an amazing community,” Sommers said.

Bike-A-Thon Plus chairman Peter Asquini said it looks like the event will exceed last year’s fundraising total of roughly $129,000.

“Outstanding. It looks like the participation is up from last year. We won’t know about the pledges a few days, but the early indications are it’s been a very successful year,” he said.

Asquini described some of the remarkable fundraising stories from Cornwall, SD&G and Akwesasne, behind today’s event. “I was just talking to a parent from Longue Sault Public School. Their Grade 1 daughter, Isabella, raised $1,000 on her own…a $1,000 in pledges, it’s outstanding,” Asquini said.

“If that’s any indication, it’s been a stellar event.”

The final arrivals at the event were the motorcycle group. “Even that group was up that year. We figured there were close to 80 motorcycles this year, up from last year. We had 60 last year. Huge increase,” he stated.

Asquini said golf was almost full and the car rally participation was up

Asquini said the new events, including the dog walk and a Friday night bingo, were a success though there are some logistical bugs to iron out for next year.

“A huge thank you to the entire community and for everybody that came out and participated. We can’t thank them enough. On behalf of the clinical staff and the volunteers at the center, on behalf of the clients of the Children’s Treatment Center, just a huge heartfelt to everybody for coming out,” Asquini said.

Click on an image below to see a gallery of photos from the event.