Our Community: Son plans 24-hour bike ride for father; volunteers collect for food banks

Ride starts Monday at airport, goal is $18,000

Ian Duncan is honouring his dad with a 24-hour cycling event beginning Monday to raise money for the ALS Society of B.C.

His dad, Ross, was diagnosed in January with ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative neuromuscular disorder also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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Duncan, a Saanich firefighter, said on his event website that it was “shocking” news for the family, but his parents have been very positive in the months since.

“I am hoping to continue that positivity into the future and garner as much attention as possible to ALS,” Duncan said. “I’ve been an avid cyclist for a long time and I just wanted to do something for my dad and also for anyone else out there that’s suffering from the same disease.”

His goal is to cover 600 kilometres during the 24-hour ride and raise $18,000. More than $16,000 had already been raised by Sept. 15.

Duncan said funds donated to the effort will help people living with ALS and their families have access to support groups, mobile clinics, psychological-support services and equipment, adding: “It will also keep alive the hope of funding a cure for ALS.”

Duncan’s ride will start at 6 p.m. Monday at Victoria International Airport, where he plans to cycle the 10-kilometre loop around the facility as many times as he can through the night. At daybreak, he will continue with a 100-kilometre route through the city that he is familiar with, continuing until he reaches the 24-hour mark, hopefully finishing at Jubilee Park to the west of the airport.

Duncan has been charting his training on Instagram.

His ride is being supported by his union, Local 967, and the Saanich Fire Charitable Foundation.

Donations can be made at alsbc.ca/24-hr-km-challenge.

Heirloom Linens raising funds for TC Literary Society

A fundraising initiative for the Times Colonist Literary Society continues at Heirloom Linens in the Broadmead Village Shopping Centre.

Throughout the month of September, the company is donating 50 per cent of net profits from the sale of Portofino towels, a product of Portugal, to the society.

The help comes as part of Heirloom Linens’ “12 Months of Giving” campaign, which makes a donation to a different charity each month. The campaign was begun in 2015 to mark 20 years in business, and has so far generated over $120,000 for approximately 48 groups.

The campaign has supported a wide range of causes.

“It brings a lot of attention and awareness to the charities,” said chief operations officer Kristen Stannix.

Times Colonist editor and publisher Dave Obee praised the effort.

“Bob, Joan and Kristen at Heirloom Linens are devoted to community service,” he said. “Their support for the literacy society will make a difference for many people, for many years to come.”

The Time Colonist Literary Society supports school libraries and literacy organizations on the Island, and the help from Heirloom Linens comes at a time that its key fundraiser — its annual book drive and sale — has been curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is hope that the regular event will return next May. Russell Books stepped up to purchase books collected via a smaller version of the book drive in August.

You can donate directly to the society online.

Syrian refugee seeking donations to reunite family

The 13th annual B.C. Thanksgiving Food & Fund Drive takes place Monday through Saturday.

In Greater Victoria, about 200 volunteers will be taking part, delivering stickers to households to encourage online donations, or a bag asking for donations for the local food bank.

“Enjoy a good walk for a few hours and provide a service to your community at the same time,” said Carey Barnard, spokeswoman for the local effort. “There are hundreds of neighbourhood routes throughout our region.”

Food donations will be picked up Saturday in over 100 B.C. communities, with 6,000 volunteers expected to be involved during the week. The goal is to bring in more than 270,000 kilograms of food.

Online donations can be made through foodbanksbc.com, where people can contribute to their local food banks.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Barnard at carey.barnard@gmail.com.

Thanksgiving food drive goes Monday to Saturday

A young Syrian refugee is seeking donations as he works to reunite his parents with their children and grandchildren already in Canada.

Bader M., whose full name is being withheld to protect family members still in Syria, is doing everything he can to bring his parents, who are living in exile, to Canada.

While Bader, who is self-employed, has a group of sponsors who have helped him with paperwork, fundraising has been difficult, since large gatherings can’t be held because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Donations can be made to Constituent (or sponsorship) Group 154-21 with the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria. This number should appear on all donations. A tax receipt for charitable donations will be issued by the ICA.

For more information, contact Sandy evenings at 250-889-0921.

Camosun Food Affair a capital idea for the tasting

The inaugural Camosun Food Affair continues today through Thursday, with participation from over 40 eateries around the capital region and from Cowichan.

The event — part of 50th anniversary celebrations for Camosun — is modelled on Dine Around Victoria, with the Camosun version put together as a college-themed experience.

The idea is for the public to visit participating establishments in order to give local businesses a boost, with options ranging from fine-dining restaurants to cafés, delis and food trucks. The list of participating businesses is at camosun.ca/eat.

“Our region is blessed with incredible culinary talent, with many people and businesses having a strong connection to Camosun,” said culinary arts chairman David Lang. “We’re really excited to shine a spotlight on the excellent culinary culture in our region.”

For decades, the local hospitality industry has provided space for learning and growth for students and graduates of the college’s hospitality management program, said program chairman Carl Everitt.

“The Camosun Food Affair is a fine example of how the hospitality industry in the south Island and Camosun are collaborating to celebrate the success of local, sustainable partnerships.”


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