While Black Friday and Cyber Monday promote the commercial aspect of the holidays, Giving Tuesday (Dec. 2) enables charities, companies and individuals to collectively support non-profits and Canadians who support their communities.
The annual Ride to Conquer Cancer exemplifies the new movement. Benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation, the two-day event in August has cyclists riding from Vancouver to Seattle. Courtenay resident Andrew Young is among those gearing up for the 200-plus kilometre fundraising journey.
A teacher at Vanier Secondary, Young has been cycling to work in the Valley since 1999. He has decided to use his passion for cycling to help recognize the struggle of some important people.
He will be riding Aug. 29 and 30 for friends and colleagues Jodie Zuccato and Barry Walker, both of whom have cancer. Both also taught Young’s son, Noah. He is also riding for Dulcie Rogers, another colleague stricken with the disease.
In October, Young’s partner Vicki lost her 15-year-old son to an intense battle with cancer. Charlie Petrie was diagnosed with an aggressive melanoma in April and spent the better part of six months at BC Children’s Hospital and Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.
“Vicki never wavered,” Young said. “She was steadfastly by Charlie’s side, always remaining positive and hopeful. So I’m riding to honour the memory of Charlie and for his family at this most tragic time in their lives.”
Cancer has also affected Young’s parents. His mother Sally is a survivor, but his father Doug succumbed to the disease in 2010.
Young has already raised $3,716 — 74 per cent of a $5,000 target — through donations from co-workers, friends and contacts. Proceeds go towards research, and cancer treatment and education.
To help Young reach his fundraising target, visit conquercancer.ca, click on BC, click Join Us, then click Donate and enter his name.