Some say volunteering is one of the most satisfying things a person can do. When
it comes to charity events, like the upcoming PwC MS Bike - Grand Bend to London,
volunteers turn vision into reality.
"Volunteers are critical to the event," says Sarah Mann, the Senior Manager of Community
Engagement and Development with the Southwest Ontario region of the MS Society of
Canada. "The ride absolutely could not happen without the support of hundreds of
people who give their time, skills, and passion."
Volunteers at the PwC MS Bike contribute by doing everything from food prep, coordinating
riders' luggage, photography, and leading stretches and yoga for the riders.
Some volunteers have personal connections with the ride that brings a certain dedication
and passion to what they do for the event.
Anne Thibert, co-captain of C.T. Soil's Mighty Celtic Warriors, has chosen to volunteer
with the committee for the MS Society in addition to cycling in the ride over the
last few years. Having more than 15 years of experience with the PwC MS Bike, Thibert
is able to provide an in depth understanding of what can help the participants throughout
"I rode for 12 years, and I always wished I knew when the checkpoints were coming
up," says Thibert. "We decided to start making signs that say five kilometres to
the exit and putting them out, and it's something that we've donated to the MS Society
and the tour."
Leading up to the event the MS Society has meetings with members of the volunteer
committee, like Thibert, who assist in the planning and execution of the event to
make it successful for riders and volunteers alike.
Riders who come back year after year notice the impact the volunteers have on the
PwC MS Bike and everything they do to help them cross the finish lines and keep
them comfortable throughout the weekend.
"My feeling on the volunteers is that the ride absolutely could not happen without
them," says Paul Fraser, a rider in his fifth year with the PwC MS Bike. "My focus
is making it to London and back again safely, and the volunteers take care of everything
else for me."
"It's very motivational hearing the cheering team at every rest stop, it keeps me
riding, and the motorcycle team does a great job at keeping the riders safe and
on course," says Fraser. "My luggage disappears at ride time and then magically
shows up at the end without a hitch."
Hundreds of volunteers are needed every year to help the riders make this inspirational
event what it is.
"We still need volunteers in many roles and are asking people to connect with us
if they are interested in being a part of this awesome event," says Mann. If you
are interested in getting involved, contact Mark Goguen at Mark.Goguen@mssociety.ca
or 1-888-510-7777 ext. 3307.
This year's PwC MS Bike – Grand Bend to London kicks off on July 29 at 7:30 A.M. at
the Grand Bend Motorplex.