Marc Gervais went up and down Chestnut Street in Nanaimo on July 17, in a fundraiser for Nanaimo Child Development Centre. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

Man cycling up and down street in Nanaimo Child Development Centre fundraiser

Marc Gervais challenges himself to 100 laps of Chestnut Street

A cycling enthusiast in Nanaimo is using pedal power to try to raise money for Nanaimo kids.

Marc Gervais is doing 100 laps with his bicycle, up and down Chestnut Street in Nanaimo, as a personal fundraising initiative for the Nanaimo Child Development Centre. Gervais said it combines two things he enjoys, cycling and giving back to the community.

“I figured this would be a good way to raise money because it’s not a public event, especially nowadays, there’s not a lot of people that will mix and it’s nice being at home, making neighbours more aware and meeting more neighbours … I’ve challenged every neighbour to donate about 25¢ per lap,” said Gervais. “As I’m riding, I’m meeting neighbours that I’ve never met before, so that’s pretty nice.”

Dominic Rockall, the centre’s executive director, said Gervais approached the CDC with the idea out of the blue. Gervais said he’s dealt with the centre in the past and in speaking with people, he has heard that “everybody has some type of tie to them.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has hampered the centre’s money raising efforts, including the cancellation of the centre’s major fundraiser, the Silly Boat Regatta, and other events, said Rockall and Gervais.

Rockall, who rode with Gervais for a few laps, was appreciative of the effort.

“Community support like this helps us to be able to offer the best service we can for people, with specialized equipment and innovative programming that goes beyond the basic support that the government provides,” Rockall said.

Gervais said he hasn’t taken part in the Silly Boat Regatta, but seemed interested when asked if he would consider a pedal-powered boat at a future event.

“That is a brilliant idea and if I can figure out how to do that, I will,” said Gervais.

He estimated he would complete his fundraiser by about 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon, July 17, and suggests people donate directly to the Nanaimo Child Development Centre.

For more on the centre, go here.

– files from Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin

READ ALSO: Mountain bike ride fundraiser supports Nanaimo food bank

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