February 21, 2008 – Gordon Bertie, a local businessman, has been cycling in the RONA MS Bike Tour — Leduc to Camrose for the past five years. In this time he has consistently been a top fundraiser for the Tour, raising more than $7,000 each year he has participated. This year, however, Gordon has upped the ante and has decided to reach for a new milestone.
“In August 2008, I will celebrate my 60th birthday and I have set a goal for the 2008 Bike Tour to raise $28,000. This will bring my fundraising total to $60,000 for my 60th year,” Bertie says.
A physical challenge such as this is not foreign to Gordon. He is an Olympian having competed in the 1972 Olympic Games in freestyle wrestling. Gordon’s training will definitely help him this year during the 2-day 170km Tour — an intense physical challenge. However, what may prove more difficult is the financial commitment he has made to the cause. “This year I have decided to personally contribute 25 cents for every $1.00 raised through my sponsors,” says Gordon.
Bertie dedicates his ride to MS, specifically to Francis Hoppe – a personal friend who passed away as a result of multiple sclerosis. “Francis’s valiant fight with MS and the dignity she preserved through this long battle has motivated me to continue to make my fundraising a tribute to Francis, and to the many others who suffer from this disease,” he says.
The RONA MS Bike Tour — Leduc to Camrose is a fundraiser for the MS Society of Canada — Alberta Division. With 1700 cyclists and 450 volunteers, it is the largest RONA MS Bike Tour in Canada. In 2007, the Tour raised a record breaking $1.25 million for MS research and services. This year’s goal is to raise over $1.4 million.
Alberta has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, with over 11,000 people in the province living with the disease. MS typically strikes young adults between the ages of 15 to 40. Women are three times as likely to have MS compared to men. The cause and cure are unknown. Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable and often debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system.
To register for the bike tour, or for more information, please visit www.msbiketours.com.