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With an increasing number of Canadians relying on charitable services, the YMCA of Southern Intier BC is hoping to raise $130,000 to help more low-income families. All funds raised at Cycle for Strong Kids, the charity’s largest fundraiser of the year, will subsidize child care, day camps, swim lessons, health memberships, and recreational and sport programs for parents who struggle to afford them.

“Cycle for Strong Kids helps community members in ways most don’t even realize,” states Tammie Watson, VP of Marketing and Philanthropy at the YMCA. “All kids need access to caring mentors, safe spaces, accepting team environments, and healthy outlets to help them feel accomplished. It’s so important our programs remain accessible to low-income children and youth who rely on these programs the most, and we encourage everyone to get involved and support this high impact event.”

A recent Ipsos poll reports that 23% of Canadians are currently accessing charitable services to meet their essential needs, and this number is expected to rise to 26% within six months. With the rising cost of living, more and more families are having to sacrifice important extracurriculars for their kids, such as swim lessons, camps, sports, and more, which help build physically and mentally healthy children.

“Many families are struggling financially, and we want to ensure the entire next generation of kids is set up to thrive,” states Graeme McCallum, YMCA Senior Manager of Child & Youth Programs. “We love seeing how much fun kids have in our programs, but they don’t realize they are learning so much, developing skills, building resiliency, making healthy connections, and keeping out of trouble.”

A group of 30 people are dressed up in costumes and bright colors, and sitting on stationary bikes in an outdoor class. They are all smiling and cheering and holding their hands up in the air.

Cycle for Strong Kids will raise heart rates and funds through a high-energy spin class taking place under a big tent at H2O on Sunday, May 28. Community members can support the event by joining a team, donating, or purchasing raffle tickets at any YMCA Health and Community Centre. 

100% of all funds raised will go towards subsidizing Y programs and services for less fortunate families, as well as providing mental wellness programs, youth employment programs, and Beyond the Bell free of charge to at-risk children and youth.

YMCA Cycle for Strong Kids is co-presented by sponsors Fresh Air and Delcourt Advisory Group at Scotia Wealth Management.

Learn more about this event and how you can help.