Tag: fundraising

Fitness Swellness: Saddle up and join in the JDRF Revolution Ride to Defeat Diabetes


Charities are getting more and more creative with ways to raise money for their causes other than the usual run or walk, and I think that’s fantastic. As much as I love running, I know it’s not for everyone! I’m excited to take part next week, along with more than 12,000 people across Canada, in the JDRF Revolution Ride to Defeat Diabetes 2017!

It’s my first year, but I hear the high-energy event is full of positive vibes. Presented by Sun Life Financial, the JDRF Revolution Ride’s goal is to raise funds so that we can one day live in a world where no one needs to suffer from type 1 diabetes (T1D).

If you’re not familiar with T1D, you should know it can be a devastating autoimmune disease. When you have T1D, your body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin (which your body needs in order to get energy from food). It affects more than 300,000 Canadians, from kids to adults, and diabetes is the leading cause of amputations, blindness, kidney and heart disease and other health conditions. And it’s not due to eating too much sugar, or linked to being overweight or not exercising enough—its cause is unknown. And while people with diabetes must test their blood sugar every day and give themselves insulin injections several times a day (or use an insulin pump) for the rest of their lives, insulin is not a cure, and it does not prevent those severe complications mentioned above.

By taking part in the JDRF Revolution Ride, your fundraising helps contribute toward the incredible advances made in T1D research. It’s thanks to the support of people like you that smart insulin (which responds to your body’s needs) was developed and that artificial pancreas systems are being developed so as to leverage technology to improve T1D management, to name just two examples.

How you can join in the JFRF Revolution Ride:
I’ll be taking part in a one-hour morning spin class that kicks off the JDRF Revolution Ride event in Toronto. And there’s still time for you to take part in the Ride event, too: you can compete either individually or in teams on stationary bikes (in the Ride10, for example, all you do is saddle up and ride seven minutes as a member of a five-person team—seven minutes well spent!), or even bike outdoors on your own when you can find the time to in your schedule. If you can’t take part with an actual ride, every dollar helps the cause, so consider donating to a friend who is fundraising for the Revolution Ride.

So see you there, right? I’ll be the runner-and-infrequent-Spin-class girl sweating through the session. But every pedal we all push in this Ride means we get closer to defeating diabetes.


Leave a Comment September 29, 2017

Healthy Swellness: My #STWM ScotiaChallenge fundraising for Annex Cat Rescue

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Who knew fundraising could be so motivating? My participation in this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Charity Challenge actually helped me shift my mindset from focusing on running 42.2 kilometres as fast as I could (and driving myself bananas in the process) to considering all of the incredible causes runners surrounding me had fundraised for.

When I decided to participate in the #ScotiaChallenge, I was a bit nervous. But, since I was planning to run the marathon regardless, it seemed like a great way to raise money for a worthy charity of my choice, Annex Cat Rescue, who received an $1,000 donation from Scotiabank.  

Feeling slightly sheepish leaving the donation up to Scotiabank without raising any funds myself, I used social media to ask my networks to support the cause. I also personally reached out to a handful of people who I know are animal lovers and/or are generally nice supportive folks.  I set my fundraising goal at $500, which I felt was quite lofty. But as the days went on, the donations came flooding in, from people I hadn’t realized were also passionate about cat rescues, and even a few friends I had never even met in person.

As time passed, I started to get more and more excited about fundraising for my race, knowing that I was getting to help cats in need. Cats, just like my cats Mya and Kobe, who if they hadn’t found homes, might have been put down. “I’m running for the cats!” I laughed in the days leading up to the race. It helped add a positive spin to what I was expecting to be a very physically draining marathon. It allowed me to distract myself from the fact I likely wasn’t going to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and focus on the good my racing was doing for a worthy cause.

To date, I’ve raised $1,155.00. I’m sponsoring $100 myself, which brings it up to $1,255.00. And I know I have a couple more donations coming through, which is much more than I’d ever dreamed of being able to raise. It gives me all of the feels, and I, along with the two cat rescues that live with me, would like to say a big THANK YOU to all who donated. This money will make a difference for some of the thousands of cats in need in the city. I’d also like to say thank you to Scotiabank for the generous donation to Annex Cat Rescue and for the chance to participate in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. This year alone, the Challenge raised over $3.1 million and counting for over 172 local charities, now that’s worth running for!

If you would still like to donate in support of Annex Cat Rescue, you still can! Just click here to do so and that’d be purrfect!


Leave a Comment October 26, 2015

Healthy Swellness: Helping to support Annex Cat Rescue in the #STWM #ScotiaChallenge


You may have noticed on Instagram that I’m taking part in the #ScotiaChallenge when I run this Sunday in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. What’s that, you ask?

Well, I was asked to participate in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon through the media extension of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. The task is simple, run the race (choosing from any of the distances) and select one of the 170+ charities involved to fundraise for. Perhaps the best part (‘cause, to be honest, running 42.2 kilometers when I do the marathon will not be the best part, hello, sore legs!) is that Scotiabank will donate $1,000 to my chosen charity. To date, the Scotiabank Charity Challenge has raised more than $38 million for charities across Canada.

Looking at the list of registered charities, making a decision was a tough choice as they are all worthy causes. Ultimately, I chose a cause I am passionate about and one that is smaller (which is less likely to have many runners raising money for it): Annex Cat Rescue (ACR).

Want to sponsor me in my fundraising? Donate via this secure link!


I have two cats at home. Kobe (he’s the tabby on the left in the photo below) was an adult cat when I adopted him in 2002 from a cat rescue organization. I simply cannot imagine life without him. He used to race to the door whenever we got home. He’s slowed down now that he’s 14, now preferring to cuddle rather than jump around from countertop to windowsill. Mya was a mere 8 weeks old when I adopted her; I first met this little feisty one when I was bottle-feeding kittens as a volunteer at the Humane Society and just had to have her.

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So animals, and cats especially (but also dogs — I’m currently a volunteer with the organization Save our Scruff), are important to me. Last week, I had a chance to visit one of the feral cat colonies run by Annex Cat Rescue, and a volunteer (Anne) chatted with me about the colony and the charity. As I approached the address in the east end, I knew I was in the right area as I was suddenly surrounded by cats. They seemed curious about me, but a bit nervous, which I expected given they are feral. In the backyard of one house, Anne introduced me to Myles (the long-haired black cat) and Scout (the black and white cutie) who are the main cats who use this colony. A volunteer from Annex Cat Rescue comes every single day to feed these cats and make sure there’s fresh water and clean bowls, and, if possible, snip some of the matted fur from Myles. Anne often takes the streetcar with large bags of clean bowls, cat treats, cat food, and jugs of water to come to this colony. I had a chance to see what the shelters at the colony are like (essentially large Tupperware boxes with a hole carved out as an entrance, filled with straw and with a reflective ceiling inside to help maintain warmth inside). The thought of these kitties having to stay warm through the brutal winters Toronto has been having? Well, I’m glad that they at least have these shelters they can count on.


The other fine work ACR does? If feral cats have kittens and they’re found around the eight-weeks-of-age mark, then they are brought in and adopted out. And any feral cats from their colony that are not fixed are trapped, spayed or neutered and then released back outdoors (feral cats are outdoors and undomesticated, so that’s why they’re released back into the habitat that they know).

I was so impressed with how well organized and dedicated Annex Cat Rescue is. And it’s entirely run by volunteers and counts on donations to help keep it running. I’m proud to be a part of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge in this Sunday’s race to raise money for them. Plus, I will be doing my own little fundraiser amongst friends, and hope you will choose to support me with whatever donation you can afford.

This is the secure link so you can donate!

I along with the folks at Annex Cat Rescue and, of course, the cats, thank you! xo




Leave a Comment October 15, 2015

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