Peter Sweeney, the president of the St. Mary's Hospital Foundation, got back to me about this year's change of the Bike and Hike for Heart to just Hike for Heart.
As mentioned in the previous post, Manulife Financial did a lot of the heavy lifting for the Bike and Hike for Heart over the years, and it wasn't just about the teams and the volunteers who staffed the tents and refuelling stations. Sweeney said that Manulife made it possible for 100 per cent of the money pledged to go to the hospital's regional cardiac care centre.
When Manulife pulled out of the Bike and Hike to throw its volunteer muscle behind the LPGA Classic (the St. Mary's Foundation benefited from the LPGA last year with a hefty $250,000 cheque from the Manulife golf event), the hospital foundation was unable to attract a signature partner to take up the slack. Basically, said Sweeney, 100 per cent of the money pledged would not be able to go to the cardiac care centre, if the organizing group had to cover the costs of the bike/hike event.
But, Sweeney said, the committee understood the commitment of the red-shirted Hearts in Motion team -- those 130 to 160 people who were clients of the cardiac care centre. Almost all of them have been walkers for previous Bike and Hike for Heart events. And they alone have been able to raise between $40,000 and $60,000.
So, the down-sized Hike for Heart stays; the biking part goes.
Sweeney says there will be an indoor bike event for the cycling crowd in February 2014, a prime time for heart-related fundraising since every February is Heart Month.
And to qualify my earlier comment indoor cycling and boredom, my sister-in-law instructs at a Calgary spin company, and her classes are anything but boring. And a number of my Facebook friends tout the team-building of Inside Ride events.
I stand corrected.