Big hearts needed for Big Bike

It takes a big heart to ride a Big Bike, and this month dozens of residents from the Comox Valley showed they have just that as they raise funds for leading heart and stroke research, by participating in the Heart and Stroke Big Bike Campaign. An important fundraiser with impressive results, Heart and Stroke Big Bike engages Canadians across the country. Last year, over 40,000 riders, in more than 200 communities, helped to raise more than $7 million for research. This is helping the Heart and Stroke Foundation achieve even greater results that change the lives of not only heart and stroke patients, but all Canadians. The goal is to raise $1.6 million in B.C. this year. Big Bike seats are filling up quickly on the bicycle built for 30. “Last year, Comox Valley residents raised $35,800. This year we are hoping to increase that goal to $45,000,” says Stephanie Crabtree, Nanaimo’s special events co-ordinator for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Money raised will help support community programs such as the Sip Smart Program, Vancouver Island’s Stroke Rapid Assessment Research, and help certify local teachers as HeartSmart Instructors. “To date, we’ve reached over 20,000 Vancouver Island elementary students through the HeartSmart program which educates children on healthy food choices, exercise, and the risks of smoking,” said Crabtree. Comox Valley’s Big Bike Events will take place in Comox on June 11 and in Courtenay on June 12. If you’ve got a Big Heart, too, join in the excitement by registering a team or support the fundraising goals of existing community teams by making a donation at www.bigbike.ca. The Heart and Stroke Big Bike is one of the primary community fundraising events for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. As a great way to team build and showcase support, the Big Bike travels across Canada from April to September, making its way along high-profile routes through more than 200 communities in nine provinces. The Big Bike is eight feet across at the wheels and 30 feet long. For more information about the Heart and Stroke Big Bike, or to make a donation, visit www.bigbike.ca. The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, and the promotion of healthy living and advocacy. — Heart and Stroke Foundation

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