A round of cheers erupted as Travis Bridge sat down on a stationary bike outside of Nelson’s Bigby Place.
For the next 15 minutes, volunteers and clients danced and waved signs at passing traffic while Bridge pedalled his friends to what they hope is a better year to come.
On Thursday, participants outside Kootenay Society for Community Living’s Bigby Place took turns on the bike during a 10-hour marathon fundraiser.
The event was held to help pay for a trip to Operation Trackshoes, an annual sports festival for adults with developmental disabilities, in Victoria next June.
“Usually we take a whole van of people all the way to Victoria and participate in the event, but we haven’t been able to the last two years,” said program manager Lauren Schellenberg. “So we’re hoping that 2022 is our year.”
Bigby Place previously paid for the trip with a grant that is no longer available, so community support worker Phoebe Hannah came up with the idea of a symbolic 10-hour ride to Victoria as a way to fundraise.
Between forest fires and the ongoing pandemic, optimism has been in short supply in 2021. But there was plenty of belief Thursday that 2022 will be a better year.
Participants wore T-shirts adorned with a sun and bike that were designed by Bigby Place clients Jemma Rezansoff and Nick Toner. The sunny T-shirts, Toner said, represented good cheer being spread on Front Street.
“It warms our day, and it’s beautiful out here in the sun.”
To help send Bigby Place to Operation Trackshoes, online donations can be made at ksclcastlegar.net.
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