Island grandmothers are kicking into high gear for the sixth Annual Cycle Tour in support of African grandmothers.
Thirty Vancouver Island grandmothers will once again cycle 275 kilometres from Campbell River to Victoria to raise funds for African grandmothers faced with raising their HIV-AIDS-orphaned grandchildren. Three of the riders are from Nanaimo – Elizabeth Vreede, Jane Templeman and Mary Howard.
The riders say that the cycling event has a wonderful spirit of ‘ubuntu’, taking care of each other.
In five years, cycling grannies raised more than $200,000. This year the goal is to surpass $250,000, and every penny goes to the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.
Cyclists pay all their own expenses, with all contributions going to the foundation.
Canadian grandmothers contributed more than $13.5 million to the campaign in only six years, which equals $1 for every AIDS orphan in Africa. In some African countries, 40 to 60 per cent of orphans live in grandmother-headed households.
The group will have a short stop in Nanaimo at noon on Saturday (Sept. 8) at Maffeo-Sutton Park. At the completion of the trip, a welcome celebration will take place in Victoria on Grandparents Day Sunday.