By Tracey Tong
The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
Special to Ottawa Construction News
His name is ubiquitous in homebuilding and construction circles, but in the past five years or so, the name Claude Des Rosiers has become well known in a different context.
Des Rosiers is a well recognized name in Ride the Rideau and this fame in this tightly knit community of cyclists, who bike and fundraise for cancer research at The Ottawa Hospital, is well deserved.
Des Rosiers, the vice-president and general manager of Boone Plumbing and Heating Supply Inc., is not only one of Ride the Rideau’s top individual fundraisers year after year, but his team, the Boone Flushers, has been riding since 2010. Des Rosiers is inarguably one of Ride the Rideau’s biggest champions, having helped to start the event with his friend, Merkley Supply Inc.’s president, Robert Merkley, and The Ottawa Hospital Foundation more than five years ago.
Des Rosiers has also put his company behind Ride the Rideau. Boone Plumbing has been a Ride the Rideau event sponsor since the event’s inception (the company vehicles proudly display giant Ride the Rideau decals) and Des Rosiers himself has been instrumental in bringing riders from Ottawa’s construction and homebuilding industries on board.
Through all this, Des Rosiers, who does the Ride with his wife, Francine, each year, somehow managed to train for and complete a personal challenge to do the Chicago Marathon, Ride the Rideau, a swim and raise over $70,000 last year.
Ride the Rideau has grown incrementally in the past five years to raise a grand total of more than $6.45 million. The Ottawa Hospital Foundation has added more routes to the flagship 100 km distance – a 50 km route last year, and this year, a 100-mile route which, looking at registration numbers, is proving to be popular with some of the Ride’s more dedicated cyclists. After four years of stationing the finish line in Merrickville, organizers have designed all routes to start and finish at Ottawa’s EY Centre this year, eliminating bike transportation back to Ottawa and making it easier for friends and family to cheer riders on.
Naturally, The Boone Flushers are back for 2014. Headed by team captain Pat Cyr, the team has a $30,000 fundraising goal for this year. If they reach it, it will push their five-year fundraising total to nearly $250,000. Team fundraising efforts include Rock the Rideau, a popular event to be held at Lone Star Texas Grill in July.
“Every week, you hear of someone who’s been affected by cancer. That’s why we try to accelerate the raising of funds.”
-Claude Des Rosiers
FACT BOX 1
Rock the Rideau
Date: Thursday, July 17
Time: 7:30 p.m. to midnight
Venue: Lone Star Texas Grill
Address: 1211 Lemieux St.
Cost:Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at any Boone/DesRosiers location or at the door.
FACT BOX 2
Ride the Rideau
Date: Saturday, September 6
Time: 8 a.m.
Venue: EY Centre, Ottawa
For more information: Visit www.ridetherideau.ca