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This article was published 23/6/2015 (2123 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Four local youth are gearing up for a freewheeling fundraiser — and the more wheels the merrier.
Madeline Hiebert, 11; Lizzie Rochon, 11; Bennet Rochon, 13; and Kyleigh Moffatt, 11; will hold their 2015 Wheelathon event on Sun., June 28 in Norwood Flats.
Participants are asked to meet at 7:45 a.m. at the corner of Lyndale Drive and Walmer Street. The event will take place from 8 to 9 a.m., when wheelers will do laps of a designated course. The entry fee is $10 for each participant, who must be accompanied by an adult if he or she is under 12. At the inaugural wheelathon last year, participants ranged in age from five to 14.
The fundraiser is the brainchild of Madeline and Lizzie (Bennet and Kyleigh joined the organizing team this year) and proceeds will go to the Mukanzo Orphanage Foundation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa to help with food, clothing shelter, and basic needs. Last year’s fundraising goal was $60, which eventually ballooned to almost $900, exceeding all expectations. As of June 17 this year, the quartet had raised $827 thanks to donations from family and friends and lots of door-to-door canvassing in the neighbourhood.
"We’re hoping to have lots of people out, and have lots of fun," Kyleigh said.
To join in the fun, of course, a participant must bring his or her own set of wheels and a helmet.
"Last year, we had some bikes, a rollerblader, someone on a scooter and a few skateboarders," Madeline added.
Last year’s event also welcomed Odette Mukole, the founder of the orphanage, who was on hand to cheer on the participants and also had the opportunity to tell Madeline and Lizzie exactly what the money they raised was to be used for. Mukole explained that, at the time, the children in the orphanage received one meal and a cup of tea each day, but the money raised at the wheelathon would mean they would now be able to also receive breakfast, as well as much-needed mosquito nets and medicines.
"Now they can have the most important meal of the day," Lizzie said.
Having joined the organizing committee this year, Bennet said the experience has helped him appreciate his life and his family.
"It’s good to be able to do this because it helps kids that don’t have as much as we do. They don’t have half as much as we do," he said.
An anonymous donor has also laid down a challenge this year by giving the quartet $150 and vowing to match anyone who donates more.
On the day of the event, the team members — who are hoping Winnipeggers will come out and support the cause — won’t be too difficult to spot, as they will each be wearing a handmade wheelathon-inspired T-shirt.
And while each of them brings his or his or her own skill set to the table, this is reflected in the diversity of their potential career aspirations.
Madeline would like to be a doctor, Lizzie might consider a job involved with music; Bennet could see himself as a carpenter; and Kyleigh has one eye on the universe.
"I’d like to study plants, maybe in space, but I’ll confirm that later on," she said.
To visit their crowdfunding page, visit http://www.youcaring.com/family-fundraiser/kids-helping-kids-2015-wheelathon-for-mukanzo-orphanage/356346
The Lance community journalist
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Canstar’s senior reporter, he joined the team in June 2009 to write for The Sou’wester, which was then the new paper in the Canstar family.