YMCA of Okanagan Cycle for Strong Kids

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On Sunday, May 27 nearly 350 riders raised over $85,000 for local children and youth at the YMCA of Okanagan’s largest fundraiser of the year, YMCA 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 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.” 

With 1 in 5 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 with 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,” exclaims 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 Rhonda Zakala at 250-491-8672 or rzakala@ymcaokanagan.ca. To learn more about supporting a stronger local community of children through the YMCA of Okanagan, visit ymcaokanagan.ca/Opportunities-to-Give.