Ride the Rideau fundraising under way

ride the rideau logo

hospital ride the rideauRiders have started gearing up (and training) for the annual Ride The Rideau in support of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation and cancer research.

The construction community, largely through the leadership of Robert Merkley and Claude Des Rosiers, with support from the Ottawa Construction Association and other industry groups, has been prominent in the fund-raising venture in the past three years.

This year’s ride is scheduled for Sept. 7 and includes a 50 km option for riders not quite ready to handle the full 100 km experience. (Thunderstorms aborted last year’s ride shortly after its start, but the record-level fundraising brought the initiative’s  total  to more than $4.4 million.)

Recently, Robert Merkley of Merkley Supply Ltd., who has co-ordinated the leading fund-raising team, The Brick Peddlers, sent this note showing the dedication of one volunteer:

Good morning, fellow Brick Peddlers,

I want to share this story of new Brick Peddler Kim Franchina. Kim showed incredible commitment and dedication in holding her bake sale even while her daughter and daughter’s friend are in CHEO after a very serious car accident this past Wednesday.

In Kim’s own words, please read on:

Hi Robert,

Thank you for the loan of the jersey – I wore it proudly at the bake sale.  I raised $500.00 in 2.5 hours.

My daughter had a serious car accident the day before and her and her girlfriend were seriously injured.  They were

my scheduled volunteers.  I always honor a commitment so after 0 sleep, I enlisted the help of security at the hospital, unloaded my van and took on the task of the bake sale.  I had to run back to CHEO for 2 so I ended earlier than I would have liked but I’m very confident that the next scheduled bake sale will be an even bigger success.  I will drop off the money to the Foundation as soon as I am back to work.

Their car got t-boned in Kemptville and rolled three times and landed in a field.  The OPP/Paramedics had to extricate them from the car through the windshield.  My daughter Shelby suffered a seriously fractured open compound wrist fracture and has now had three pins put in and will be in a cast for 6-8 weeks.  Facial contusions, concussions, head puncture and hip injuries and bumps and bruises complete her medical package.  Bottom line, this mother could care less – she’s alive and not out of my sight.  She’s 21 but she will be staying with me until she’s back on her feet.

I’m in the last month of finishing my university degree so the timing is interesting – but I’ve promised her to take time for myself and work on my final essay so I can graduate on time.  The University is very understanding.  I would just like to get some sleep and not have nightmares.

Shelby’s friend Megan is still at CHEO and has a serious concussion.  Not a mark on her but she has neck problems and has been sleeping since the accident.  While they can wake her, she falls right back to sleep.  We are waiting on an MRI to ensure god-forbid she doesn’t have any brain issues. Again, thank god they are both alive.

I look forward to getting off my bike trainer and hitting the road to blow off some mommy anxiety.

Leah from the team btw was kind in dropping off some bake sale goodies.  I’m very flattered, that’s what you call teamwork.!!

Thanks, will check in soon.


Kim Franchina, RN, CON(C), CHPCN(C)

Ottawa Construction News is supporting Ride the Rideau with some free publicity and publisher Mark Buckshon is among the riders. For more information, visit http://www.ridetherideau.ca/


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