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Fundraising for the Coast to Coast Sears National Kids Cancer Ride

By Catherine Bancroft

When I first started fundraising, $30,000 seemed like a huge amount of money to have to raise. I work full time, and I knew it would be a challenge to fit in the time to raise donations for this ride, train, and to eat enough to train—which means shopping all the time! I started by re-jigging my work schedule so that I have Friday afternoons off. I use that time to focus on fundraising. I’ve created a strategy that involves many different approaches—making phone calls, following up, and organizing events. Our collective fundraising goal for the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride is $3 million. Each rider has to raise a minimum of $25,000. [At the time of this publication May 1, 2010 Catherine has raised $11,731.59 towards her goal of $30,000. She’s 39% of the way there.]

My friend Eric Mann, another National Rider, and I are doing some of our fundraising together. He’s writing applications to foundations (40 of them), while I organize fundraising events like the 24-hour spin event we did in March at the Exhibition Centre. We’re also partnering with high schools to introduce an event called the Inside Ride. I’ve organized another event at my high school, Banting Secondary School, in London on May 14th, where teams of students will ride for prizes on stationary bikes. During the event, we’ll honour two families whose children have died of cancer this year.

The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride supports our fundraising by allowing us to sign up to ride stationary trainers in the main entrance of Sears stores. When Ryan Lyons, the other National Rider from London, and I rode in the Sears Masonville in London, we raised $1700. Inch by inch, contact by contact, personal donation by personal donation, those numbers climb. I get a huge amount of satisfaction from experiencing the generosity of people — my family, friends, and friends of friends. As my muscles get stronger through daily training, I’m building fortitude for the ride from the enormous support I get from this community.

I’m inspired by women who test their limits. Historically, women have been stereotyped as being less physically capable than men. This stereotype infuriates me. That’s why I love to see women share their dreams and experiences through vehicles like Women’s Cycling.ca. The coast to coast ride motivates me to strengthen my body, overcome my limitations, and push myself to new horizons that I didn’t think I was capable of. I hope that by tackling this challenge, I will, in turn, provide inspiration to other women to grasp their dreams, and to go for them!

Catherine’s fundraising page: www.snkcr.com/catherinebancroft
Catherine’s blog: www.catherinebancroft.snkcr.com
Sears National Kids Cancer website: www.SearsNationalKidsCancerRide.com
Related post: Coast to Coast—The Sears National Kids Cancer Ride

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