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A Grandfather fights child obesity on two wheels

Brandy Sharp for local2 sault ste. marie
June 30th, 2012 at 9:30am

A 58-year old amateur athlete plans to complete a cross-country bike journey in 28 days to raise funds and awareness for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign

strong kids grand fatherYMCA volunteer Don Patterson started a personal challenge to complete a 7,220 km cross-country bike journey from Vancouver, BC to St. John’s, Newfoundland in 28 days to raise money to fight child obesity. All the money raised will support the YMCA Strong Kids campaign to give kids the opportunities they need to live healthier, happier lives now, but also to grow into productive adults.

“I have two grandchildren and three children. My family benefited much from the YMCA programs to stay healthy and happy. Every kid deserves a chance to play sports, get active, and make friends. The YMCA is making this possible. It’s the surest way to keep children healthy,” said Patterson.

As an amateur athlete, Mr. Patterson completed a bike journey from Victoria, BC to Thunder Bay, ON to raise money for the YMCA in 2010. This year he is taking on an even bigger goal to support the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. On his journey and throughout the year, Mr. Patterson will also visit local YMCAs to raise awareness on the importance of healthy living to parents and children.

“Child obesity is a national epidemic in Canada. Twenty-six per cent of Canadian children aged two to 17 are currently overweight or obese,” said Kim Caruso, Interim CEO, Sault Ste. Marie YMCA.

“We are extremely fortunate to have volunteers like Don to support us to help children live healthily. The battle against child obesity can only be won with community support and advocacy.”

We anticipate Don will be riding through our community on or near July 8th. We will be welcoming him to our YMCA for a brief story telling event – everyone is welcome. Times will be confirmed as we near his arrival. Don will chronicle his journey on his blog and he is encouraging donations be made directly to local community YMCAs throughout his journey: ykidsblog.com

For more information about the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, visit .ymcastrongkids.ca


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