On May 27, a ski patroller and his daughter embarked on a cross-Canada cycling trip to raise money and awareness for the Canadian Ski Patrol System (CSPS).
Sandy MacKay of Ottawa, who has been a volunteer with the patrol since his retirement two years ago, and his daughter Meg dipped their tires in the Pacific Ocean last week at Mile 0 of the Trans Canada Highway on Vancouver Island. They are heading east across the country and expect to reach Halifax in six to eight weeks.
Although he had only been with the ski patrol at Mont Ste. Marie for a short time, Sandy was struck by how professional the group is, and wanted to make a positive contribution to the CSPS.
"I soon learned that I had joined a group of highly skilled and very dedicated volunteers who give enormous amounts of their time for the safety and rescue, not only of skiers and boarders at our ski hills across Canada, but at many other community activities and events that require skilled first aid services," he said. "Ski patrollers are also very active in raising money to purchase the first aid supplies that are vital to the job they do, and this bike ride is a great way to raise some much needed money."
Meg, who is a 20-year-old university student and triathlete, will set the pace for their cross-Canada adventure. They hope to cover between 120 and 150 kilometres a day.
Several patrollers from B.C. are accompanying the duo through the province, and many patrollers have offered them places to stay along the way.
"The offers of hospitality have been heart warming, and Im sure well need the encouragement," Sandy said.
If you want to pledge support for the CSPS, you can call the CSPS hotline at 1-900-565-2777. Each call pledges an automatic $20 through your phone bill, which will go directly to the organization. You can also send money to the CSPS National Office at 4531 Southclark Place; Ottawa, Ontario; K1T3V2. Please indicate that the cheque is for Dad-Daughter C2C Cycle.
The CSPS currently supports 5,100 volunteer members, and provides first aid and safety services to 212 resorts across Canada, and hundreds of community events.
The money will go towards training and equipment for volunteer patrollers.
Sandys son David will be tracking the cyclists and sending out regular e-mails about their progress. To get on the e-mail list, write firstname.lastname@example.org.