Ride of the Mustangs raises $118,207 for charity
Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 06:00 am
The seventh Ride of the Mustangs wrapped up at George McDougall High School April 13, raising a grand total of $118,207.39 for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Though the mark came slightly lower than the $130,000 goal, which would equal a seven-year total of $777,000, ride committee member and Grade 12 student Jennifer Williams said she was proud of what the students were able to accomplish this year.
“It’s amazing to see how much can get done when everyone is working towards one goal,” she said. “Not only is (the ride) fun, but it’s also helping such a great cause.”
The ride challenged 49 teams, consisting of 10 to 12 students each, to keep a stationary bike going for 48 consecutive hours.
Grade 11 student and ride committee member Zane McLeod, 16, said Ride of the Mustangs has even attracted a younger crowd, with a team riding from École Edwards Elementary School.
“A lot of those students will come through here in the future,” he said. “We’re building that next generation of riders.”
Students also had the opportunity to visit the Alberta Children’s Hospital in December to see where the $647,000 raised from six years riding went.
Walking into the hospital, ride committee member and Grade 12 student Josh Valiquette, 17, said it was an honour to see George McDougall High School’s name on a donor plaque next to names of large businesses.
He said students toured the cancer unit and were able to see first-hand the medical machinery and family support programs the ride has funded.
“Just knowing that we can make (a kid’s) hospital experience better is really rewarding,” he said.
The Ride of the Mustangs is an entirely student-run endeavour, according to George McDougall teacher Kelsey Payne. Every participant has worked hard for months and she said there is value to seeing one’s efforts come to fruition.
“It’s a good life lesson,” Payne said. “If you work hard at something then a reward comes later.”
The seventh year has placed Ride of the Mustangs total donations to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation at more than $765,000.
During the closing ceremonies on April 13, Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation vice president of development Liz Ballendine said the ride’s effort throughout seven years has been “amazing.”
What’s even more amazing, she said, is the students are riding for children and families they will most likely never meet.
“You’ll play an integral part in helping those kids and families get the best result that they can get,” she told a crowd of George McDougall students. “Thank you for thinking of others.”
With this marking the fourth and final ride for Grade 12 students Valiquette and Williams, it is up to students such as McLeod to ensure the ride continues to gain momentum.
The Ride of the Mustangs will only get better with each passing year, McLeod said, as the total edges its way towards $1 million.
“Excitement can only grow with that,” he said.
Online donations for Ride of the Mustangs continue to be accepted at mcdougall.rockyview.ab.ca/mustangs.