By ALI RAZA, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The CRUSH COVID: Ride for Mind campaign raised more than $430,000 for Michael Garron Hospital’s mental health care.
The combined effort of almost 500 riders and 3,000 donations means the fundraiser shattered through its $380,000 goal.
Organized by Toronto Hustle and Michael Garron Hospital, Beaches-East York Councillor Brad Bradford was one of the main cyclists involved alongside several professional cyclists across the country, and a number of local participants.
Money raised by the event is intended for MGH’s mental health care, which over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic has been providing care for many low-income and racialized individuals and families.
“Thank you so much to all of the participants, donors, and volunteers who helped make CRUSH COVID: Ride for Mind an incredible success,” Bradford said.
“Over the 24-hours I was so inspired by the passion, dedication, and generosity of the participants from across the city and the world.”
He noted five specific teams from MGH that participated in the campaign, such as Capitalize for Kids, MGH Mind Riders, and also MGH Foundation president Mitze Mourinho, MGH chief nursing executive, Mikki Layton, and MGH foundation board chair Eric Tripp.
Tripp was the top fundraiser with $64,593.00 raised through his efforts and collected donations. Bradford raised $9,951.0.
The MGH cyclist teams raised more than quarter of the total.
“Not only are they on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic and the mental health care we were raising funds for, they put in the time, energy, and sacrifices to take their commitment even further,” Bradford said.
Bradford live streamed his 24-hour cycling blitz via Zoom.
His stream featured notable participants including Premier Doug Ford, Mayor John Tory, Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa, Scarborough-Rouge Park Councillor Jennifer McKelvie, and many more.
Not all participants rode for 24 hours, but Toronto Hustle cyclist Lucy Hempstead broke the Guinness World Record for greatest distance covered in 24 hours on a stationary bike at 681 km.
Bradford welcomed the support from the community, and urges anyone who can donate to do so as donations are still being accepted for the remainder of this week at https://mghf.akaraisin.com/ui/crushcovid
This was the second year for CRUSH COVID. The first one was held on April 24 and 25 of 2020 to help Michael Garron Hospital raise funds in its fight against the virus.
Ali Raza is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Beach Metro News. His reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.