Toronto Hustle rides for 24 hours to raise money for mental health
Michael Garron Hospital and Toronto Hustle are partnering again to raise awareness and funds to support mental health services. The team recently announced they are going professional and stepping it up with a 2022 UCI continental license, coupled with a calendar that includes road events, women’s gravel and a series of plans to help create a culture stronger cyclist. The team has a great involvement in the community, in addition to being a cycling team.
Since Toronto Hustle’s inception in 2016, the team has been involved in the community, both on and off the bike.
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For example, the team helped raise more than $750,000 for frontline healthcare workers and mental health programs through “CrushCOVID,” a recently concluded “Gravel Run for Lyme” event in the New York area. Niagara which has raised nearly $80,000 for vital Lyme disease research and ongoing road safety advocacy to help advance cycling infrastructure.
Next up is Ride for Mind, a 24-hour virtual cycling experience. Taking place March 4-5, the event will be broadcast live from History Toronto, a new music and entertainment venue.
Fundraising for a new mental health program
Proceeds from Ride for Mind will be directed to an innovative program at Michael Garron Hospital that helps young people navigate the complex mental health care system; as well as the construction of the hospital’s state-of-the-art inpatient mental health facilities, which will offer private rooms, bright and comfortable shared spaces, and outdoor gardens for therapeutic programming.
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“We are preparing to open our Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Center next winter. It will include a floor and a half of dedicated space specifically designed to help address the mental health challenges of our diverse community,” said Mitze Mourinho, President of the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation. “This progress is only possible with the support of donors, including those who participate in fundraising events like Ride for Mind. Truly, every donation counts as we work to transform healthcare in the east of Toronto.
RIDE FOR MIND GIVEAWAY – We are giving away two pairs of @Pirelli rubber to prepare you for the road!
—Toronto Hustle (@Toronto_Hustle) March 2, 2022
With an increasing number of people suffering from anxiety and depression, the community needs support now more than ever. According to Statistics Canada’s COVID-19 and Mental Health Survey, one in four Canadians over the age of 18 report symptoms of mental illness, up from one in five in fall 2020.
Meet growing needs
“Two years into the pandemic, the impacts on mental health and addiction in our communities have never been clearer. Our communities and our hospitals are tackling a growing challenge: the growing need for mental health care and support,” said Brad Bradford, Toronto City Councilor for Beaches-East York and founding member of Toronto Hustle. “Ride for Mind brings us together to shine a light on issues and make a real difference, right here in the east.”
“As difficult as this time has been, the spirit of kindness and community has continued to bring us together in new and inspiring ways,” he continues. “As a cyclist, Toronto City Councillor; I’m back in the saddle to ride for 24 hours at History, Toronto’s last live music venue, to raise money and awareness for this health care priority. Join me and our friends at Michael Garron Hospital to get involved. Ride, donate or share so we can all thrive beyond the pandemic.
In-person and at-home options available
New for 2022, Ride for Mind is partnering with Live Nation to offer an in-person ride option at History. On site, selected fundraisers and teams will take turns with other participants. A “home journey” option will also be available. Special guests and notable musicians will join Bradford for a 24-hour live broadcast for all attendees to enjoy.
Among the participants, the Toronto Hustle women’s gravel team is tackling a “24-hour team time trial” relay, a race against time to see how many miles they can cover as a team in 24 hours. . Cheer them on during the live stream, invite your own teammates for a friendly challenge, or spread the word.
Ride for Mind invites all fitness enthusiasts to participate by riding alone or as a team. Riders of all skill levels can sign up for Ride for Mind now.