Police officers from 55 Division will be joining in the CRUSH COVID: Ride for Mind fundraising event this Friday and Saturday.
The online indoor cycling marathon takes place from 6 p.m. on March 12 to 6 p.m. on March 13, and is raising funds for Michael Garron Hospital and its community mental health services for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ride for Mind is taking place just after the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11 of 2020.
“As we hit the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, we’re starting to see and feel the mental health toll in our communities,” said Beaches-East York Councillor Bradford in an earlier interview with Beach Metro News.
“The mental health and addiction crises in our communities have only deepened during the pandemic. CRUSH COVID: Ride for Mind is a way for us to come together virtually and shine a light on these issues, and tackle them at the place and scale with the deepest impact, right here in the community.”
This is the second year for the CRUSH COVID virtual ride to raise funds for Michael Garron Hospital. Last year the event took place on April 24 and 25. Bradford cycled the entire 24 hours of the event, as he intends to do this year as well.
Participants in CRUSH COVID: Ride for Mind can participate individually or as a team over the 24-hour event.
Members of the Toronto Police Cycling Club and officers from 55 Division will be taking part as a team.
Police officers participating include Staff Sgt. Murray Barnes of 55 Division, Const. Damion Creighton, a Neighbourhood Officer with 55 Division, and Insp. Justin VanderHeyden, unit commander of the Sex Crimes Unit. All three were recently on hand to present Michael Garron Hospital with a cheque from the Toronto Police Cycling Club for $250 in support of the ride.
“It’s been a long 12 months for everybody, and we’re happy to help out,” said Barnes.
So far, this year’s ride has raised more than $297,000 which shattered the original fundraising goal of $250,000. Organizers have now set a new fundraising goal of $350,000.
For more information on taking part in CRUSH COVID: Ride for Mind, or how you can make a donation to support the cause, please go to https://mghf.akaraisin.com/ui/crushcovid
For more on the event, please see Beach Metro News’ earlier story at https://beachmetro.com/2021/03/10/crush-covid-indoor-cycling-fundraiser-for-michael-garron-hospital-begins-on-march-12/