Kelsey Ahluwalia, a teacher at George McDougall High School (GMHS), and Gavin Fung, a grade 12 student from GMHS, spoke to DiscoverAirdrie about the return of the Ride The Mustang event after a two-year hiatus.
Fung explains what the event is all about.
“The program was started 12 years ago after a student at George McDougall had cancer. It became a fundraiser where everyone tried to do a bike-a-thon to gather funds for cancer research.”
This is an important year for the annual fundraiser as the students are on track to surpass $1 million raised.
“Ride of the Mustang is such an integral part to our school culture.” says Fung, “Before COVID-19, it was that annual event where kids, no matter of your grade or background, could all come together and do something for a common cause.”
Fung says this year they're trying to keep it as close as they can to what the real event is.
“We are still going to be biking in the gym, like we would have before. The way it's set up is every group of students gets a square of the gym. That's kind of your living space for those 48 hours. Depending how much money they raise, they can bring in couches, TVs, and whatever kind of they want to hang out with.”
Ahluwalia says the only thing that is different this year is they are not spending the whole night at the school. They are going to close it down at 10 o'clock and send them home to sleep.
It’s the ninth year of this event. In the past, any and all money raised through Ride The Mustang will be donated in its entirety to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation to help kids who are fighting cancer.
“They bike in teams of eight to 12. Then everyone signs up for shifts throughout the day and throughout the night. Normally, it's a 48-hour event. We start Tuesday at noon and bike until Thursday at noon. This will be a little different because we'll shut it down overnight, but they've all got a stationary bike in the gym.”
Ahluwalia explains the significance of this event for George McDougall High School.
“We have a ton of students at our school that spend a lot of time at the Children's Hospital. I've taught a few that have either come to our school already doing cancer treatment. I've had a few that have left classes to go to the hospital for different kinds of treatment.”
Ahluwalia finished off by saying the longest she has seen a student pedal for is 3 hours before a teammate took over.
If you would like to donate, visit the George McDougall High school WEBSITE.
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