A couple of local ladies – Karen King and Mary Lou Mahoney – are training to participate in the tenth annual Victoria Grandmothers for Africa 275 km Cycle Tour from Campbell River to Victoria, Sept. 9-11.
Participating women are aged 55 and over with an average age of 65. They begin their three-day ride on the Friday morning (about 9 a.m.) at Rotary Beach Park on South Island Highway, Campbell River with stops in many locations along the scenic route for refreshments, meals and overnights, and finish at the Legislature on Sunday afternoon in Victoria.
It is a pledge ride by Grandmothers to Grandmothers to increase awareness and raise funds for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
The Foundation uses the funds to provide needed assistance to AIDS-affected African grandmothers who have stepped forward to raise their orphaned grandchildren while grieving the loss of their own children.
King remembers, “It was a beautiful collection of handmade doll ornaments that caught my attention at a Christmas craft market a couple of years ago. They represented the grandmothers of Africa and their orphaned grandchildren. When the lady at the table told me about grandmothers who fundraised money locally for the Stephen Lewis Foundation and the why, how and what they do, I started to think I should be involved. It made me thankful for my granddaughter’s family ties with her own parents and many grandparents to love her. So now, I am a member of Grandmothers to Grandmothers (G2G for short) here in Campbell River.”
Mahoney belongs to the Letz Sing group. She carpools with some of the ladies of that group, and they belong to Grandmothers to Grandmothers.
“One day they were having a discussion about finding someone to ride in this G2G fundraiser,” she says. “I was impressed with the organization and what they do for the grandmothers of Africa. I love riding my bike all year long. I felt this was something I could do to support the Grandmothers of Africa. I feel that what happens to people in other parts of the world affects us all. I am happy to support the children and Grandmothers.”
Eight Island grandmother groups prepare meals and refreshments and cheer the riders along the route. Here in Campbell River, our own G2G ladies organize a potluck dinner on the Thursday evening before the tour to give the riders a good send-off. The Victoria Grandmothers for Africa organizes the tour and the welcome event at the legislature.
To make a donation or learn more, visit: http://slf.akaraisin.com/grandmotherspledges2016/cycletour275 or www.victoriagrandmothersforafrica.ca
In Campbell River, they meet at the United Church on the first Thursday of the month at 7:15 p.m.
The web site for G2G in Campbell River is: https://sites.google.com/site/crg2gdraft/home .
Contact: Karen King – firstname.lastname@example.org
Come out to the route on Sept. 9 and cheer the ladies on their way.
With their brightly coloured jerseys, these two grandmothers on their bikes will be easy to spot making their way south.