The final round of cyclists at the 2019 Lake2Lake Ride for Rwanda took off at 9:30 a.m. at the Vernon Christian School Saturday, Sept. 14. They’re destined for Eagle Bay, more than 100 kilometres away. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Cyclists ride in Okanagan to support Rwandan schools

The 10th annual Lake2Lake Ride for Rwanda has raised more than $100,000 in donations and counting

Nearly 100 cyclists put rubber to the pavement Saturday morning at the Vernon Christian School, for the purpose of helping schools thousands of kilometres away.

The Lake2Lake Ride for Rwanda is in its 10th year, and the turnout in 2019 has been better than ever. A total of 93 cyclists registered for the ride from Vernon to Eagle Bay and back – a good handful more than the fundraiser had last year. There were even multiple teams from the coast that came out for the Okanagan trek.

Funding support from the two-day bike ride goes to the Wellspring Foundation for Education. As of this morning the riders had raised more than $106,000, nudging up to their goal of $110,000. There’s plenty of time to reach the goal, this being day one of the ride and donations being accepted for the next month or so.

The ride rolled out in three heats, with slower riders taking off at 9 a.m. sharp to get a head start on the experienced riders and teams that set out at 9:30.

The riders will tackle 110 kilometres of terrain Saturday before stopping to rest in Eagle Bay, where they’ll be given free meals and accommodation and can even sign up for a complimentary massage. Then it’s back to Vernon the next day to complete a round trip of about 210 kilometres.

READ MORE: Seniors cycling program a hit in Vernon

“We believe that every child deserves to receive a quality education that will make a difference in their life,” said Kristie Voth, Wellspring’s public engagement coordinator.

Wellspring’s approach to education aid is to facilitate change from within Rwandan communities, rather than giving handouts.

“We have a team of Rwandan trainers who come alongside Rwandan teachers, and they mentor them and they encourage them and equip them with tools as they face large classrooms, low resources … and systemic challenges within the country,” said Voth.

Joel Haberstock, a teacher at Vernon Christian School and second time volunteer for the ride, had high praise for Wellspring as the first riders rounded the corner out of the school parking lot.

“They work with education schools in Rwanda, and they’re well-loved by the (Rwanda) government. They’re doing amazing work with kids.

“Canadians know there’s been a lot of Canadian presence in Rwanda over the years … to come in as a Canadian organization doing great work there, it’s just phenomenal,” added Haberstock, who has participated in the ride in the past himself.

The Wellspring Foundation supports quality education in more than 124 Rwandan schools. Over its previous nine years the Lake2Lake fundraiser has accrued more than $689,000 in donations for the foundation. Donations for this year’s ride can be made at the Lake2Lake.org.

Cycling fundraisers appear to be the theme of the day in Vernon. In the afternoon, riders taking part in the Cops for Kids fundraiser for local children will make their way through the city for the penultimate stop of their 1,000-kilometre journey.

READ MORE: Cops for Kids provides help for mother of premature twins


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Education fundingRwanda

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction begins on 180-unit rental complex in Penticton

Rental community with 138 two-bedroom units and 42 one-bedroom units to be built on old trailer park

Professional misconduct lands Penticton lawyer $15k fine

Daniel Kay Lo fined $15,000 by B.C. Law Society after admitting to five counts of misconduct.

Highway 97 petition founder encouraged by public’s reaction

Printed out, the list of 26,000 names creates a stack of paper four inches thick.

RDOS hears concerns about 5G wireless technology

Potential safety concerns raised as communications technology expands

Mental health disorders, suicide on the rise among Okanagan students

The survey was conducted by the McCreary Centre Society in 2018

UPDATE: Protesters say they will maintain blockade near Chase “as long as it takes”

Signs at protest site say in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Deaths on popular Shuswap trail ruled accidental

B.C. Coroners Service reports on fatal falls in May and July 2019

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

Federal minister to speak in North Okanagan

Greater Vernon Chamber welcomes middle class prosperity minister to talk money

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

EDITORIAL: Thoughtless posts to Facebook cause real harm and stress

At the risk of resembling a broken record, it needs to be… Continue reading

Most Read