It started out as a couple of doctors enjoying a morning of eating and biking. But this 50km round trip bike ride, fueled by the challenge of a super-sized fast food feast at the outset–Big Mac, large fries, soft drink and an apple pie–has now evolved into a grassroots fundraising effort to benefit Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) Emergency Department redevelopment at the Kingston General Hospital (KGH) site.
On Wednesday, August 1st, about fifteen riders participated in this year’s eat-and-bike challenge, meeting the $1,500 fundraising goal. “I like to think of it as big food meets good fun for a great cause” says Gary Melnikov, Community Relations Associate at the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF).
An avid cyclist, this was Gary’s second year riding in the event. He beat last years’ time, completing the trip between Kingston and Gananoque, in app. 50 minutes. This year he knew what to expect and had a French fry strategy, “Dipping the fries in the soft drink makes for faster eating” says Gary, who was eager to get a head start, “You need to finish your food, fast and then get on the bike.” Melnikov admits biking on a full stomach is “a little rough,” at least for the first few minutes, but says the camaraderie of the ride, and the importance of the cause, more than make up for it.
KHSC’s ED is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and sees upwards of 60,000 patients each year. Those visits are expected to increase by 21 per cent in the coming decade. Here the challenges are life-threatening and they never stop. Every moment counts when people need critical care. The next phase of healthcare redevelopment at KHSC includes building modern, innovative emergency facilities that will help save more lives and meet the growing demand in the region.
Those wishing to support the eat-and-bike challenge can visit their Canada Helps giving page for bike challenge. To find out more about how you can financially support KHSC’s bold new vision for the KGH site, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.