BROCKVILLE — An Ontario fundraising campaign kicked off this week to help get people active and support animals, with Brockville’s SPCA using pedal power to get the word out.
“We’re so excited to be part of Sweat for Pets,” said Marianne Carlyle, Leeds & Grenville animal centre branch manager.
“It’s our second year as an organization running this virtual fundraiser and it’s really flexible. Anybody can do it and they can do what they want to do,” Carlyle said. “It all raises awareness for our animals that we care for here at the animal center.”
On Thursday, Carlyle kicked off the event with a 150-kilometre bike ride around the city, following a loop six times.
“I kept it very simple and safe,” Carlyle added. “Centennial Road to Lyn Road, east on King Street to Sharpes Lane and then coming north to Centennial Rd. and back. That’s a 25K loop.”
It’s the largest fundraiser for the Ontario SPCA this year, an animal welfare organization with 12 shelters across the province.
It’s easy to get involved virtually as well according to Carol Link, branch manager for the South Dundas & Glengarry SPCA.
“It’s really easy and free to register at sweatforpets.ca,” Link said. “There’s lots of information on that page, some ideas. We encourage people to get out and create their own challenge as we see today, skipping, hula hoop, walking, lots of fun ways to get active and support animals in your community.”
All money raised will go right back into local animal shelters to support the animals.
“Whether that’s buying our microchips, buying our vaccines, putting it towards additional surgery costs, for example,” Carlyle said. “We have a cat here who had to have life-saving surgery for a complicated pregnancy. We were able to provide that surgery for her based on donor dollars that come in to us. And she’s going to have an adoption life and go home to a new home. So that’s really what the money goes towards. It stays here.”
Each branch set their own goals to reach an ultimate provincial goal of $125,000.
“We encourage people to register, encourage their family and their friends to pledge to their challenge and to have some fun, all in support of animals in your community,” said Link.
“Without this support, these aren’t services that we would be able to provide to these animals. So it’s so important.”
While the Brockville Shelter is still not accepting in-person donations due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, there are still other ways to help.
“People can go on to our Amazon wish list, see what we need from there,” said Carlyle. “We often put out posts on our Facebook and Instagram of what we are needing. So look for that and/or give us a call and see specifically what we need.”
Carlyle says her background as a competitive swimmer and triathlete helped her complete this large ride.
“At this stage of my life, I love to be riding for fundraising. Why not?” said Carlyle.
“The warm weather is here, great time to get out,” added Link.
The fundraiser continues until June 25. To register or donate, visit www.sweatforpets.ca.
“There’ll be more events coming. I’m doing something every week, so you’ll see me in the area,” Carlyle added.
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