With an eightfold increase in fundraising last year and 2013 team recruitment in full swing for the past three months, St. Marys Cement is geared up for their best ride ever.
The team achieved incredible growth in 2012, more than doubling in size from 48 to 118 members. Funds raised also expanded dramatically, from $3,260 to $24,257, while average per-rider fundraising tripled from $68 to $206.
Company executives are firm supporters of the Ride. A “CEO challenge” encouraged employees to enter a 100-member team for the organization’s 100th anniversary in 2012. Upper management also leads by example, actively fundraising and inspiring employees to boost their own fundraising efforts. The company even offers draw prizes for participating employees (last year’s top prize was a $500 gift card) and provides customized cycling jerseys for the entire team.
“Everything seemed to come together last year,” says team captain Colin Evans of the team’s phenomenal success. “Once our numbers started to climb, the growth took on its own momentum. Suddenly we had a larger base to work with, so as riders recruited friends and family, we grew more and more.” Colin works tirelessly to coordinate team members from more than 50 different locations. While most of the team is in the Toronto area, riders come from far as far away as Michigan and Illinois.
St. Marys Cement is well on their way to another record-breaking year. They registered in the fall to take advantage of registration discounts and promotions, including the iPad give away contest. Registering early also gives Colin a head start on organizing the team, coordinating approvals from management, recruiting riders, and developing internal promotions.
The team’s success is matched only by their excitement for the coming year. “Not only was our 2012 team our largest ever, but it was our most enthusiastic,” says Colin. “We can’t wait to do it again.”
What will your last ten years look like? Baby boomers are facing a decade of sickness and disability. Will that be you?
Although Canadians are living longer, according to Statistics Canada, on average, there’s a 10-year gap between how long we live, and how long we live in health. This gap is mainly due to heart disease, stroke and other chronic conditions.
Read more from the Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Report on the Health ofCanadians which says baby boomers must act now to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke so they can “Make Health Last.”
Tom Heintzman is co-founder, CEO, and a board member of Bullfrog Power, a 100% green energy provider.
Heart disease is a personal issue for me. I lost my amazing grandfather to heart disease 13 years ago. He had a real impact on me; mentioning him immediately takes me back to his bedside. After all these years, I still have a vivid memory of him in the hospital.
I’m a rider and fundraiser, but I also donate to other riders and to my own fundraising campaign. My perspective is that if I’m asking other people for money, then I should be prepared to donate myself. I also know the high calibre of the leadership at the Heart and Stroke Foundation — it’s an organization I want to support.
The power of the Ride is that there is strength in numbers — thousands of people are coming together to advance the same goal. There’s a sense of momentum and progress. It’s community involvement in action. It becomes a movement.
Beyond my connection to this cause, I feel strongly that philanthropy and supporting other people is the right thing to do for our society. It’s too easy to get busy, to stay home, to not get involved. As our society gets larger, if we don’t make the effort, we become increasingly anonymous and the bonds of society weaken. Engaging in the community builds the fibres that hold our society together.
I have a great deal of hope in the progress being made into heart disease and stroke research. We’re not only seeing research advances in diagnosis and treatment, but also more tangible results like life-saving AEDs in public spaces. Our fundraising efforts help everyone in our community.
I know that fundraising is making a difference. As I cycle the DVP with my fellow riders, it’s undeniable that collectively we’re having an impact. We’re proving that individuals can effect massive change when we work together for a common goal.