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Cyclists take on Lake Ontario for Wellspring

By Allan Benner, The Standard

It will be like running a marathon every day for nearly a week.

By the time the nine cyclists participating in the Wellspring Niagara Tour du Lac finally return to the organization’s headquarters on Schmon Parkway in Thorold, Adamson hopes they will be about $100,000 closer to the goal of paying for Wellspring’s new facility to be built in Pelham.

Despite taking on the challenge of riding about 100 kilometres in each of the six days needed to accomplish the route circling Lake Ontario, Adamson said he rarely climbed aboard a bicycle until a year ago when fellow Wellspring board member Larry Boggio convinced him to take part in the Wellspring Ride to Miami in September, raising $30,000 for the free support programs for cancer patients offered by the organization.

“That’s when I started cycling. The year before that, I’d been on my bike once,” Adamson said.

But after that 3,000 kilometre trip, “I now know how to cycle,” he added, laughing.

With that feat behind them, Adamson again teamed up with Boggio to take on Lake Ontario – this time to help Wellspring get an early start on its $5-million capital campaign to build a new facility in Pelham, much larger than its cramped 2,000 square-foot offices it now occupies.

Boggio has previously been part of a group that cycled around Lake Ontario to raise funds for the cardiac catheterization program at the St. Catharines hospital.

“It’s a challenge. It’s like doing a marathon every day for six days,” the Port Colborne based pharmacist said. “But it’s interesting and it’s fun. If you’re a cyclist, it’s fun.”

As the cyclists were about to depart early Sunday morning, cancer survivor and “Wellspring Warrior” Gena Boese thanked them for their commitment.

“I think all of you are incredible,” Boese told the cyclists. “You really have no idea how much we need this new home.”

She said when a cancer patient walks through the doors of Wellspring Niagara’s office for the first time, they are filled with fear.

“There’s no way you can ever understand the words, ‘You have cancer,’ until that is directed at you,” she said. “You come in here and you don’t know what to expect. You just feel like you just walked into a warm embrace. Sadly, but gratefully, we need this new home.”

Board chairman Joe Matthews joined several other staff, board members and clients to see the cyclists off on their trip.

“It’s a perfect morning to get them started,” he said.

“It’s spectacular for what the riders are doing for Wellspring Niagara, and the support that they’ve had especially from the local Rotary Clubs. It’ll do wonders for our campaign and for helping people that are living with cancer.”

Even before the ride began, Adamson said they were closing in on their $100,000 fundraising goal.

With pledges, sponsorships and other funds, Adamson said he hopes to at least bring in $90,000.

ABenner@postmedia.com

 



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