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Fundraisers in Edmonton return to in-person events after pandemic pivots

Fundraisers in Edmonton return to in-person events after pandemic pivots

After two years of online fundraisers and events, Edmontonians were excited to get out Saturday in-person and with friends for good causes.

Hundreds of bikers and their co-pilots stopped in Onoway, Alta., as part of a more than 200-kilometre fundraiser for cancer research.

During the height of the pandemic, the Ride for Dad event, like other charity fundraisers, continued but had to pivot. Riders were encouraged to ride solo.

“It was different,” said participant Nathan Brennan.

“It was still good,” Brennan added. “We still made the ride. But this is far better than riding by yourself.”

“There’s a comradery or a brotherhood among the riders,” said Darcy Daigle, Ride for Dad spokesperson. “And I think they’re more comfortable riding in a big group like this.”

Walkers attending the Walk Together For ALS had similar feelings.

Organizers say the event went virtual for the last two years. While the events were still successful, Karen Caughey, the ALS Society of Alberta’s executive director, said there’s more to them than just raising money.

“Having people come back in person, this is what it’s all about,” Caughey said. “It is about fundraising, but it’s also about community.”

At Commonwealth Stadium, the Relay for Life took place to raise money for research and programs supporting those with cancer.

Participants form teams with one person on the track during the seven-hour event.

“To show that we’re never alone and it’s always a group,” said Janet Dixie. “That we’re here together to fight cancer.”