Posted by Editoress on 02/19/21
Michael Garron Hospital and Toronto Hustle are partnering for a second year to give cyclists and communities around the world an opportunity to help CRUSH COVID. This year's event on March 12-13 is focused on the growing mental health toll of the pandemic and the role communities can play in tackling it.
The inaugural CRUSH COVID event in 2020 took place shortly after the pandemic began affecting daily life in Toronto and raised an incredible $250,000 for Michael Garron Hospital's Emergency Response Fund. The 24-hour virtual cycling marathon drew support from across Canada and internationally, helping to capture the collective spirit of cycling communities everywhere and their ability to come together even under the most challenging conditions.
In 2021, CRUSH COVID: Ride for Mind is highlighting the pandemic's growing mental health impact and the transformative power of communities finding new ways to connect and inspire action during the pandemic. The ride takes place one year to the day from Toronto entering its first lockdown.
The organizers are drawing particular attention to how the pandemic has disproportionately affected vulnerable populations - especially racialized communities, youth, and those living in poverty. The above average rates of COVID-19 infection in these communities have only compounded the deep existing disparities in mental health outcomes for vulnerable groups.
The funds being raised from the event will go to Michael Garron Hospital which provides care to more low-income and racialized individuals and families than any other hospital in the central Toronto region.
"Last year's CRUSH COVID event exemplified the extraordinary compassion and generous spirit of the cycling community," says Mitze Mourinho, President, Michael Garron Hospital Foundation. "We can't wait to welcome cyclists from across Toronto and around the world back to this unique virtual event to help address the mental health crisis that has emerged from the pandemic, particularly for the most vulnerable among us. We're so grateful to every cyclist gearing up to join us."
"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," said Brad Bradford, Toronto City Councillor for Beaches-East York.
Bradford added, "I'll be riding for 24-hours again and am encouraging everyone to participate however they can, whether that's riding all or part of the 24-hours, donating, or simply spreading the word. In 2020, I got through the ride inspired by the incredible sacrifices our frontline workers made in the face of incredible uncertainty. Those sacrifices continue in 2021 and we all have new motivation knowing the toll the pandemic has taken on the mental health and well-being of our communities."
Cyclists of all abilities are invited to participate and help raise funds for Michael Garron Hospital's mental health programs, which provide compassionate inpatient and outpatient care to nearly 10,000 community members each year.
WHEN: Friday, March 12, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. EST to Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. EST
HOW: You can help CRUSH COVID by:
• Making a donation at www.crushcovid.ca
• Riding all or part of the 24 Hour Zwift Cycling Marathon as an individual or as a relay team. To participate visit www.crushcovid.ca
• Join the livestream with Toronto City Councillor for Beaches-East York, Brad Bradford, riding for 24 hours solo at: www.facebook.com/BradMBradford
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