Gearing up for the Great Ride 'n' Stride

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It's the major event to raise money locally to fund the ongoing fight to beat cancer.

The Great Ride 'n' Stride in Tillsonburg is set for Sunday, April 29, at 2 p.m. and sponsors and participants are needed to make it a success.

Melissa Boesterd, president of the Tillsonburg branch of the Canadian Cancer Society, pointed to the importance of the event in raising funds here.

"Relay for Life was a major, major fundraiser in Tillsonburg, but it no longer takes place," said Boesterd. "Ride 'n' Stride has been kept alive for 49 years, but we need to build it to help close the fundraising gap."

Progress was made last year when $26,880 was raised, a jump of 247 per cent from the previous year, bringing the lifetime total raised to $565,460.

"We benefitted last year by attracting some of the people and sponsors who had been involved in Relay for Life, and we hope to add more this year, plus newcomers, to make a substantial increase in the money raised," said Boesterd.

"We are most grateful this year for sponsorship from E&E McLaughlin Ltd., Kirwin & Oatman Excavating Ltd., Marwood Metal Fabrication Ltd., East Elgin Concrete Forming Ltd., Ostrander's Funeral Home Ltd., Verne's Carpet One, B&B Graydon Enterprises Inc., and Green Lea Ag Center Inc.

"The Ride 'n' Stride doesn't take nearly as much commitment from participants. There is no entry fee. No minimum amount of sponsorship required. It involves only a short trip around Lake Lisgar. You can enter as an individual or as a team and make a real difference in fighting cancer - through research, education and direct services to patients offered by the Canadian Cancer Society."

You can pick up your sponsor sheet at Coward Pharmacy, 165 Broadway, or enter online at

The Canadian Cancer Society is the largest charitable sponsor of cancer research of all kinds.

This year's Ride 'n' Stride is in memory of Violet Ormerod, a long-time volunteer with the Tillsonburg branch of the Cancer Society, who passed away on Boxing Day. Ormerod not only served with the society herself, but also encouraged her children and grandchildren to get involved.

The Ormerod family has devoted nearly a century and a half in overall years to the society and continues to be the backbone of the local branch, with a granddaughter, Melissa Boesterd, serving as president.

The April 29th event starts at 2 p.m. at the Tillsonburg Community Centre and involves circling Lake Lisgar by foot, scooter, bike, roller blades or whatever. There will be snacks and prizes at the finish.

Trophies are awarded to top fundraisers - the Ann Phipps Memorial Trophy, top individual; Jeff Squires Memorial Trophy, top team; Madge Montgomery Memorial Plaque, family team; and Burns Demeyere plaque, community team.

Information is available by calling Melissa Boesterd at 519-409-0422 or Bill Pratt at 519-842-4998. 



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