10-year-old Elizabeth Wiens’ (front) rode in the Pedaling for Hope Cyclathon in Abbotsford, B.C., raising more than a million dollars for Syrian Refugees.
MCC Photo/Dale Klippenstein

Cyclists ranging in age, from seven to 86 years, rode in the Pedaling for Hope Cyclathon in Abbotsford, B.C., raising more than a million dollars for Syrian Refugees. It was 10-year-old Elizabeth Wiens’ (front) third time, taking part in the event. 

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — More than 100 cyclists braved a rainy Saturday in September to raise money to support Syrian refugees now living in Lebanon.

The riders participated in Mennonite Central Committee’s BC’s annual Pedaling for Hope Cyclathon in Abbotsford. Their fundraising, and a “challenge match” organized by a group of MCC friends and supporters raised more than $230,000.  And because the money will support a food project funded through MCC’s account at Canadian Foodgrains Bank, that total is matched a further 4:1 by the Canadian government.

That multiplying effect brings the total to more than a million dollars.

“We are deeply thankful to everyone for this generous support of MCC and the work we are able to do together, meeting basic human needs in the name of Christ,” said Wayne Bremner, the executive director of MCC BC.

John Dawson was one of the cyclists, and said the event gave everyone a practical way to have an impact on the Syrian refugee crisis. He was supported by his family and friends, as well as staff from his workplace.

“Many of them had never given to MCC before, and wanted to be a part of the magic of multiplication,” Dawson said. “Seeing them all riding with smiles on their faces because they knew what it would mean to those in need was amazing. Riding 50 kilometres never felt so good or so effortless.”

The funds raised will be directed to an MCC partner in Lebanon that provides food vouchers to 5,800 refugees who have fled there from Syria. The funds will also support nutritional training to prevent illness and promote growth in children.

“We are deeply thankful to everyone for this generous support of MCC and the work we are able to do together, meeting basic human needs in the name of Christ,” said Wayne Bremner, the executive director of MCC BC.

The Pedaling for Hope Cyclathon is part of the MCC Festival for World Relief, which takes place every September in Abbotsford.

 

Angelika Dawson is a freelance writer.

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