Tour de Guelph 2017 sees inspiring acts of generosity.

We knew it would be a terrific event, but even we didn’t expect this. Two supremely altruistic acts made it an extra special Tour de Guelph this year.

Tour de Guelph attracts cyclists of all ages and abilities for an inspired day of riding. Close to $100,000 was raised for Guelph General Hospital and local charities through the Rotary Clubs of Guelph South and Guelph Trillium. The Hospital will be using these funds to purchase two non-invasive respiratory ventilators.

Already a ‘good news story’, it got even better as two riders demonstrated their truly generous spirits this Tour.

It started with Paul Richardson, team captain of the Bremner Memorial Team. He was tracking to be top fundraiser from early on, but in a conversation with Foundation staff, he expressed that he didn’t need or want the promised prize. He preferred to donate whatever he won back to the event.

“I’d rather donate it back to encourage other riders to fundraise more and to support the hospital – that’s more important to me than any prize,” said Paul.

Paul’s prize was then used as a promotion to encourage a lift in fundraising in the final days leading up to the event. An email communication went out to all riders with the contest rules: for every donation of $10 or more that that a rider secured over the specified 2-day period, s/he would get his or her name entered to win. In those final two days, almost $4,000 was raised.

Ethan Steele was the name that was drawn. He secured four qualifying donations within the contest period. What unfolded next was truly inspirational.

Ethan also happened to be the top Youth Fundraiser, raising a total of $325! He had won a 21-speed DCO Satellite donated by Vettor Small Engines & Bicycles as the top youth fundraiser prize, along with Paul’s top fundraiser prize including a $300 gift card from Backpeddling, a pro-cycling jersey from Steam Whistle Brewery and bike maintenance package from Velofix.

Days later the Foundation received an email from Ethan’s mom to let us know that Ethan decided to donate the bicycle to a child in need. The bike was a little too small for Ethan, but rather than exchange for his size, he preferred to give it to another youth who didn’t have a bike. With the help of his mom and Family & Children’s Services of Guelph and Wellington County, they were able to identify a child in need who now has this fantastic new bike

“Ethan has a very generous spirit, and we were so proud that Ethan chose to share his love of biking with another young person who may not otherwise have a chance to bike. The entire Tour de Guelph experience was so positive for him. He will be back for another 25-km, maybe even 50 km, next year.”

Paul and Ethan’s kind and generous acts exemplify what Tour de Guelph hopes to inspire in all its riders: a desire to help make our community a bit better. As their stories demonstrate, a single act of kindness can have a ripple effect that benefits many.