Canadian Cyclist


August 24/11 15:01 pm - Ontario Ride for Karen to Help Send Kids with Cancer to Camp

Posted by Editor on 08/24/11

More than 500 cycling enthusiasts from across Ontario will hit the roads north of Toronto on September 11th for the tenth annual Ride for Karen, a charity bike ride that has so far raised more than $1.4 million to help send children with cancer to camp.

One of Ontario's top cycling events, Ride for Karen features a century (160 kilometre) ride for advanced riders, 100 kilometre ride for intermediate riders, 25 kilometre ride for recreational riders, and a Kids Fun Ride for children 2-12 years of age. The ride starts at St. Joan of Arc High School, Maple in the City of Vaughan and runs from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. It winds through the picturesque countryside of the GTA.

Cycling enthusiasts Kirk and Kris Tobias started the charity after their mother, Karen, passed away after a five-year battle with breast cancer in 2002. The idea for the Ride for Karen started when the brothers got a few friends together for a long bike ride to clear their heads after their loss.

"Our mother was dedicated to improving hope for cancer patients, and the Ride for Karen is a way to build this hope," says Kirk Tobias. "Ride for Karen offers support for people who have been touched by the disease, cancer survivors, and families who have lost loved ones. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Scotiabank, we are proud that 100% of the money raised every year goes to ensuring young cancer patients have the opportunity to enjoy just being kids."

In Canada, approximately 1,400 children are diagnosed with cancer each year and another 10,000 are already living with cancer or its long-term effects.

The Ride for Karen is made possible with the support of Scotiabank and the help from dozens of sponsors and volunteers. "Whether it's the local police from York, Peel, South Simcoe and the Ontario Provincial Police who donate their time, or people making sandwiches and baking cookies for participants, the help from the community truly makes this a successful family event," says Kirk Tobias.

Participants raise funds through pledges and many dedicate their ride to a child or loved one affected by cancer. In 2011, the recipient charities are Camp Quality Canada, Camp Oochigeas and Camp Trillium. For more information, to register for the ride or to donate, please visit


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