Bellerose Bikeathon raises $208,000 for cancer treatment

Bellerose featured in the Thursday, March 14, 2024 edition of the St. Albert Gazette

Bellerose Composite students cheered Friday as they learned their two-day bikeathon had raised more than $200,000 for cancer treatment.The 21st annual Bellerose Bikeathon wrapped up at about 1:30 p.m. March 8. Some 530 students had spent 48 hours riding in shifts on stationary bikes to raise roughly $208,000 for the Kids with Cancer Society, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Some $2,564 of that was raised in just 45 minutes as part of the Bikeathon’s head-shave event on March 7.

The Bikeathon has now raised some $3.63 million for cancer treatment and research since its inception, teacher Mike Hutchings told the students. “I’m proud of every one of you.” Everett Misenas, the 11-year-old brain cancer survivor who gave the opening countdown for the event, returned Friday to give the closing countdown. “Thanks for raising a lot of money for cancer,” he told the students. “It means a lot to us. Let’s go, Bulldogs!”

Inspirational effort
During the closing ceremonies, Grade 10 Dylan Stelter told the students about her family’s struggles when her younger brother went through cancer treatment, and how her father was also now being
treated for it. In an interview, Stelter said she wasn’t that tired despite spending eight hours on the bike in the last two days for Team Wheelie Wonkas, as she had been inspired
by everyone’s positive attitudes. “I’m so glad I was able to be a part of it,” she said of the Bikeathon.
“Honestly, it’s a little sad [that it’s over] because it was so fun, but it makes me ten times more excited for next year’s Bikeathon.”

Grade 12 student Bennett (who goes by one name only) received the Dave Jung award in recognition of their extensive efforts to support this year’s Bikeathon. Bennett said they were pretty exhausted after having spent two days making dinners, pedalling bikes, dancing on stage, and doing whatever else needed to be done at the Bikeathon. They said one of the most memorable moments of the event for them was when hypnotist Wayne Lee mesmerized about 20 students. “He made them swarm one of the teachers thinking the teacher was Mickey Mouse,” Bennett said.

Kids with Cancer CEO Chelsea Draeger Hughes said the roughly $105,000 raised
for her group by this year’s Bikeathon would help fund including summer camps, free counselling, free hospital parking, and some 50 other programs to youths being treated for cancer. “It’s absolutely incredible,” she said of the Bikeathon. “The kids here, the students, the faculty — they just give us so much hope.

Link to the March 14, 2024 St. Albert Gazette here

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