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Sports and philanthropy a powerful mix

SPORTS ARE A FABULOUS MEANS TO SUPPORT A WORTHY CAUSE, AND THE PROOF IS ALL AROUND US.

Bicycle races, marathons and shorter runs, mass zumba and yoga workouts—a remarkable number of people just love to show up and sweat it out in service of a good cause. And not only do these events raise a phenomenal amount of money, they’re simply a ton of fun!

Every team in the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie hands over donations to a school to help it buy sports equipment. The Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau raises $3M a year for research into children’s cancer research. Les courses gourmandes has been a resounding success, attracting more than 60,000 people in just four years, and raising nearly $50,000 in registration fees alone for various community organizations.

The Tour de la montagne Desjardins, in Montérégie, and the Tour du courage PROCURE are other events making a difference in the lives of many Quebecers. “A group of business people were looking to create an event that would benefit our hospital, and bring attention to the Richelieu Valley,” says Isabelle Doyon, executive director of the Fondation Honoré-Mercier, recipient of proceeds from the Tour de la montagne (May 22, 2017). “Over seven years, the event has raised $645,000, and it has been a fabulous means to promote good health through physical activity, among children and adults.”

When businesses get involved, participants and recipient organizations are not the only ones who benefit.

“For employees, it goes beyond just contributing to a cause,” adds Ms. Doyon. “The event creates an interesting synergy among employees, who get to know each other outside of their everyday work interactions.”

In addition to its philanthropic angle, the Tour shines a spotlight on beautiful Mont St-Hilaire by the Richelieu River. The first Canadian site designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, it is known for its flora and fauna, including many rare and endangered species.

Every year, we get right to the heart of the action with Paul Doucet, Ève Landry, Luce Dufault, Hugo Giroux, Pierre Bruneau and other performers at the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau (July 4-7, 2017). When you spend time with children in cancer treatment, and hear parents say that seeing so many people care gives them hope in times of distress, it becomes clear that saving lives is not an abstract concept. The proof is in flesh and blood, right before our eyes.

When Laurent Proulx was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he decided to take action by creating the Tour du courage PROCURE, which has raised $2.4M since 2010. On June 18, the PROCURE race will do something new, and take place on Montreal’s famous voie Camillien-Houde, which runs up and over Mount Royal. The road will be closed to traffic during the event. “Every day, 12 men in Quebec are diagnosed with prostate cancer,” says Mr. Proulx. “That’s a lot of people. And in their honour, we throw down the gauntlet on Father’s Day, challenging cyclists to climb Camillien-Houde 12 times. Everyone is invited to line the route and support these men in their struggle, one climb at a time!”

Finally, we tip our hats to Desjardins, who is generously partnering in some 60 major cycling events, and as many running events. The institution is showcasing great leadership by promoting the happy marriage between physical activity and philanthropy.

Go, Quebec, GO!

Sports and philanthropy a powerful mix – e-mag