What do you get when you take two people with tons of determination, add a maintenance contractor with volunteering spirit, sprinkle in competitive cycling and surround it with the desire to change lives? Answer: Test of Humanity.
If there’s one thing Avalanche Technician Nic Seaton and his wife Sheilagh love more than travelling, it’s helping those less fortunate than themselves. Over the last few years they journeyed to Ethiopia as volunteers with Canadian Humanitarian, a non-profit organization that works with orphaned and vulnerable children to make sure they receive education, health care and proper nutrition.
It was a profound and moving experience, and when they came back, they wanted to do more. But what? Being avid cyclists, they hit on the idea of organizing a fundraising mountain bike race. It sounded like an easy thing to do, but they quickly learned there’s a lot of planning that goes into hosting an event like this. There were sponsors to line up, web sites to build, a fund-raising platform to design and many other tasks to take care of. Of course, there were also trails to build, and they had to be designed to accommodate everyone from children (age three to six years) to elite, high-performance riders.
With the support from a core group of friends and after a year-and-a-half of organizing and preparation, the race was on, and it had a name: the Test of Humanity. Local maintenance contractor, Argo Road Maintenance, stepped up as one of the key sponsors, and Argo staff volunteered their time to build an access road and parking lots and helped to make sure the day was a success. Ministry employees also came from across the province to volunteer their time and participate on race day.
The race was held last September in Summerland and nearly 200 people rode in the race to build lives.
It was an amazing success! Nic and Sheilagh had set an initial goal of raising $5,000, but when they added all the pledges and registration fees, their final total was over $40,000. That will go a long way to helping children in need, and they’re not done yet. Another Test of Humanity is underway for September 23, 2012.
Congratulations to Nic and Sheilagh, and a big thank you to Argo and everyone who volunteered or took part in the race. If you’d like to learn more or get involved in the next Test of Humanity, you can learn more by going to http://www.testofhumanity.com.