MCHS wrapped up its 3rd Annual Charity Bike-a-Thon Friday at noon. – Stephen Dafoe Photos
by Stephen Dafoe
Bike peddles came to a halt at noon Friday after 101 Morinville Community High School students peddled for 24 consecutive hours in aid of a pair of good causes. In their 3rd Annual 24-hour Bike-a-Thon, MCHS students raised more than $10,000 for the Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation and Sturgeon Victim Services.
Both causes have been the chosen recipients of an ongoing fundraising initiative this year, and the Bike-a-Thon’s goal was to put another $5,000 towards the overall monies raised.
Bike-a-Thon organizer Daniel Pietraszewski said riders needed to be going for the whole 24 hours or the bike needed to be moving for the entire 24 hours. Students worked in teams of four to accomplish that, staying up overnight to take shifts riding, playing video games, and even catching a nap or two.
Pietraszewski said both the Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation’s shelter project and Sturgeon Victim Services Facility Dog program were seen as worthy causes by the students this year.
“This is Mental Health Week. Hats on for Mental Health was yesterday. Those sort of two different causes fit really well within that,” he said. “They are two important causes that are local that could be meaningful in the community.”
ABOVE – MCHS student Evan Kohut peddles during the final hours of the Bike-a-Thon.
Pietraszewski said he believed that students walk away from the Bike-a-Thon with a sense fo accomplishment.
“They do have fun. It’s kind of a novelty to come and hang out for 24 hours in the school and play video games with their friend,” Pietraszewski said. “But they do have to go out in the community and have to tell the community what they are fundraising for. I think that awareness of the different issues and different causes that are needing help in the area are important for them to learn about so that they can continue to help with them after high school.
Pietraszewski said students had hit the $10,000 mark by 7 p.m. Thursday night. A final total was not available at time of publication.
Morinville Community High School presented a duet bike to Morinville’s Aspen House last year after raising money through the 2nd Annual Bike-a-Thon and other school-led activities, including the annual Coffee House and the school’s Rotary Interact Club’s various activities.
The duet bike is a wheelchair tandem bike that allows seniors to be driven around Morinville by bike, giving them a view of Town they may not otherwise be able to experience.
MCHS student Bryant Sandercock