Event promotes independence

This fundraiser for Independent Living Vernon is open to cyclists of all abilities

Whether you’ve just learned to balance on two wheels or you’re an experienced cyclist, the 15th Annual Cycling for Independence could use your support.

This fundraiser for  Independent Living Vernon is open to cyclists of all abilities and takes place May 4 at the People Place in Vernon.

The fundraiser supports Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU), for youth 16 to 29 who are looking at developing independent living skills, community networking skills and social support.

“Independent Living Vernon has many supports for adults living with a variety of disabilities and works to create opportunities for individuals and families to be supported to live independently,” said Lisa Kongsdorf,  employ-ability manager.

Cost for participating is $35 and that nominal fee is waived with $100 in pledges.

And to help out other non-profit groups as well as Independent Living, the organization has added a new twist to this year’s event.

“Local schools, non-profits or sports teams get to keep 50 per cent of whatever they raise in pledges,” said Kongsdorf, calling it a win-win for everyone.

All cyclists receive lunch from Uncle Dave`s Pizzeria, a massage from the Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapy, a chance at door prizes, and the first 50 registrants receive a free T-shirt.

New this year is an online auction that is hosted through United Way. Local businesses and friends of Independent Living Vernon have donated a wide variety of  items including a bike from Sun Country Cycle, a $250 gift certificate for Skyride Cycle, a beautiful painting created by Karon Ireland and a variety of other items including clothing, many gift certificates for groceries, restaurants and housekeeping services.

Bidding and registration is easy to access.  Just link to ilvernon.ca.

The 15th Annual Cycling for Independence takes place May 4  at the People Place, 3402-27th Ave. Registration gets under way at 8:30 a.m. Cyclists can choose the crank hammer 50-kilometre ride (8:30 a.m. start), a more leisurely 20-km (9:30 a.m. start) or the 12-km ride (10 a.m. start) that is perfect for the more novice cyclists or families with younger children.

For more information, contact 250-545-9292 or lisa@ilvernon.ca.