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Posted: July 27, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Cycling: Fundraising dinner for the Kanata injured cyclists...

From: Phil Marsh

Hey everyone, I know that everyone following this tragic story has been impacted either through knowing one of these folks or by the second thoughts that many of us have had getting on our bikes on the roads. While I don't consider myself a serious cyclist, many of my athletes and friends are avid riders and one of them was in a serious accident with a garbage truck on the race weekend. When the emails started flying around about the crash, it only became more surreal as reports mentioned that some of their equipment was also taken while they were rushed to hospital.

As often happens, tragedy brings communities together to help those impacted and I have seen a tremendous response on the Tri Rudy pages as friends and fellow riders try to find ways to help these folks. From my own experiences with fundraising, I thought that there must be a way to get something organized quickly to help so I started by calling my boss John Stanton. He had been following this story from Edmonton and he started the donations with a cheque on behalf of the Running Room. I then called my friend Eli who owns the Arrow and Loon restaurant. Eli donates the restaurant to me each year for my annual race weekend fundraising dinner and is also celebrating his 3rd Anniversary of owning the Loon. He had wanted to do something special for a bunch of us who frequent the Loon after workouts and so we came up with having a FREE pasta dinner on Monday August 17th. I then suggested that maybe we could open this up to the TriRudy and Running Room folks, instead of turning back, he offered to increase the space to include the Atrium and the restaurant meaning that we would have the capacity to invite everyone who wants to come and be a part of this.

As this built momentum, I thought of the missing bikes and equipment and while the Running Room doesn't sell bikes, Tommy and Lefebvre does. Natalie Tommy committed instantly to the idea further bringing in the support of two icons of the cycling world: Specialized and Giro to come up with bikes, helmets and shoes. The details of which will be forthcoming. Our goal of the dinner, is to raise enough money to replace the equipment and with Tommy and Lefebvre's contribution this dream should become reality.

The end result for the dinner is now this: all of you are invited to the dinner, starting at 6pm Monday August 17th at the Arrow and Loon Restaurant, corner of Bank Street and Fifth Avenue. There will be entertainment thanks to a friend who recently performed at Absolute Comedy, and there will be silent auction items. Since a few of my athletes are competing at Ironman Lake Placid today, I will also be doing a slide show at the event with photos from LP, Ottawa Race Weekend and if anyone has pictures they would like added you can get me a disc over the next week or so. All of you are welcome to donate items for the auction and every penny raised from the auction and the dinner will be going to these 5 riders to either help them replace their bikes or as cash to help them with expenses they are incurring as they recover. The price of this dinner will be a donation of whatever amount you choose. Some of you may just want to come out and chat with fellow cyclists and some of you may want to check out the silent auction items so we decided not to have a set ticket price but you are very welcome to come out. I will be posting more details as the event gets closer, including the T&L/Specialized bike but if you plan on attending, you can send me a quick email and let me know how many you are bringing. If you want to donate an item or service, that is also appreciated and I have already started to get donations as word of the event has started to get out. If you are a massage therapist, physio, trainer, or anyone wanting to maybe help these folks directly with their recovery using your specialized skills I am sure that would be very much appreciated and there are a lot of folks on the Tri Rudy list that could connect you with their families directly. If anyone is putting together a get well card, it would be great to also have it at the dinner so those attending can also send their best wishes.

Thanks to those who have already volunteered to help set up the dinner and who have offered donations for the auction. Thanks especially to John, Eli and Natalie for committing to help so quickly even before I had managed to have a plan in place. I hope to see many of you at the dinner and we can make it a celebration of sport, of friends and of helping out fellow athletes who share this passion we all have.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call at 613-868-4588 or send me a quick email at pmarsh@runningroom.com and have a great week!


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