Great Ride ‘n’ Stride to Beat Cancer returns in October

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Despite COVID-19, the fight against cancer continues.

It has been decided to go with a fall virtual version of the Tillsonburg Great Ride ‘n’ Stride to Beat Cancer.
Melissa Boesterd, president of the Tillsonburg branch of the Canadian Cancer Society, said all face-to-face fund-raising activities were cancelled this year due to the virus.

“We were ready to go with the ride in April, but had to postpone it, hoping to go in the fall. With COVID still with us, going virtual is the only alternative. Success depends on getting volunteers involved in approaching donors, and donors supporting the cause.”

The April Ride ‘n’ Stride typically involves a trek around Lake Lisgar, but for the upcoming ‘virtual’ event, participants may do what they wish – walk or ride on their own route, on their date of choice – before it winds up at the end of October.

COVID is causing a more than $70-million shortfall in Canadian Cancer Society funding this year, but research, educational and patient support services still go on as best they can, she said.


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Bill Pratt, who has been involved with the local ride event since it started 51 years ago, had already begun fund-raising in March, submitting over $700 in donations. He has been a Canadian Cancer Society volunteer for 60 of his 92 years.

“I’ll do my best to collect more, but this computer approach has me a bit stymied,” he said. “But I’m getting instructions to follow.”

To get involved, simply sign up free, as an individual or team member, online at From here you gain access to the participation Centre and personalize your fund-raising page. Then share it with family, friends and potential supporters, helping to get other volunteers involved and donations coming in.

Those who don’t wish to donate online may also donate over the phone by calling 1-888-939-3333. Encourage donors to name you as the person they are supporting. You can also get help registering or making you donation at this number.

Donors can also write a cheque, payable to Canadian Cancer Society, naming Tillsonburg ride in the memo space, and mailing it to the Toronto office, or, if you have cash involved, give Bill Pratt a call at 519-842-4998.

More information is available by calling Hailey Parliament, a CCS fund-raising specialist, at 519-208-6037 or email

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