A large group of health care employees from Wynyard used a visit from the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Big Bike to raise $13,231 for the foundation, the most of any team in Saskatchewan.“We were contacted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation at the end of April, and asked if we were interested in riding the big bike,” reported Cheryl Sinclair, Manager of Care Team/Support Services at Wynyard Integrated Facility. “And so our journey began.”

They had just five weeks to pull together a team and fundraise for this excellent cause.

“Using this opportunity to engage with the staff, we decided that our Wynyard Integrated Facility team would be made up entirely of healthcare employees,” Sinclair noted.

The Big Bike holds 29 people, so they needed that many to sign up to ride.  They also had a fundraising goal of $3,400.

“The staff response was overwhelming,” Sinclair said. “Our team quickly grew to 34 riders, and many other chose to participate by giving donations to those riders.”

To ensure they would meet their target financially, each rider was encouraged to up their personal fundraising goal from $50 to $100. The team also decided to host a barbecue before their evening ride on June 5.

“We started to plan the barbecue, and before we knew it, we had local businesses making donations to it, and team members coming together to put together raffle baskets,” Sinclair said.

SaskEnergy, the Wynyard Shop Easy, Wynyard Co-op, Wynyard Florist, Weston Bakeries, Papa Mo’s restaurant, Sysco, SEIU West, SUN, and Pioneer independent salesperson Rod Sveinbjornson all made contributions to the barbecue, as did the team members.

As the day of the ride came closer, the team held meetings to touch base about fundraising.

“We changed our team goal first to $5,000, then to $6,500,” Sinclair said. “The last week, we just did word-of-mouth, encouraging people to give.  When we started to tell people we should be able to hit the $10,000 mark, they just could not believe it.”

The team spirit, energy, enthusiasm, and dedication the team put into this fundraiser was “unbelievable,” Sinclair said.

When the big day arrived, the weather co-operated, nearly 300 people attended the barbecue, and the ride on the Big Bike went off without a hitch.

When the final total was announced, “people were surprised, amazed, and very proud of what the team accomplished,” Sinclair noted.

The team poses around the Big Bike.

An amazing team of 34 health care employees from the Wynyard Integrated Facility raised over $13,000 to donate to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Members of the Wynyard Integrated Facility team included captains Cheryl Sinclair and Bridget Wedhorn, Caroline Amendt, Kim Moore, Cheryl Sveinbjornson, Joan Maksymytz, Lana Bolt, Michael Jordan, Maria Havryliuk, Kim Kardash, Cienna Magnusson, Karen Johannesson, Fern Swinburnson, Crystal Klebeck, Iris Erickson, Myrna Eccles, Tera Shewchuk, Krista Salter, Shannon Bzdel, Penny Lasuita, Tracy Mamer, Maurina Nameth, Kristy Hilts, Beverly Leshchyshyn, Ashlee Murphy, Melanie Sorenson, Jo Ann Wolitski, Nicki Lasuita, Ashley Spoelder, Marcey Ukrainetz, Harriette Finnson, Suzette Finnson, Leann Kipp, and Lana Prystai.