HMCS Fredericton raises nearly $70,000 through Sailors for Wishes bike ride
By LS Harveer Gill,
For the tenth consecutive year, members of HMCS Fredericton cycled across the province of New Brunswick for the Sailors for Wishes bike ride – a cycling event that raised just under $70,000 for the Children’s Wish Foundation.
Following a kickoff party in Shediac, the Sailors For Wishes biking team split into two groups – each team going respectively across the north and south of New Brunswick, biking more than 1,000 kilometres in total, reaching the ship’s namesake city seven days later. If the sailors weren’t on the road cycling in their spandex Navy bike jerseys, they were dressed in whites – hosting barbecues, auctions and even caddying at golf courses at fundraising stops at various cities, towns, and communities on their way to their ships namesake city of Fredericton.
Throughout the seven-day event, the team had the opportunity to meet with many Wish children and their families, including the Hachey family. In a ceremony in downtown Moncton, LCdr Nicole Robichaud presented Harlow Hachey, a three-year-old girl with a brain tumour, with a Roary stuffed animal and read out a poem – signifying that Harlow may now decide what her wish would be.
The team also had the opportunity to meet with Mrs. Jean Irving, the ship’s sponsor and matron in Petitcodiac, where Mrs. Irving presented the team with a cheque for $38,000.
The event concluded at an event attended by Wish Families and onlookers alike in downtown Fredericton, where the 18 members of the Sailors for Wishes team presented Children’s Wish Foundation with a cheque for $68,500 – enough for seven children with life-threatening medical conditions to have their wishes granted and their lives enriched with strength, joy, and hope.
After the fundraising was complete, the team made their way to the Women in Transition House – a shelter for abused women and children for which Fredericton has been a sponsor since the ship’s commissioning in 1994. At the Transition House, the crew undertook tasks such as landscaping, donation sorting, and cleaning the building inside and out.
The personnel of Fredericton look to raise the bar in community involvement by planning additional visits to the Women in Transition House, collecting donations year round, and organizing further events in the city of Fredericton.
Fredericton’s Sailors for Wishes 2018 team consisted of: LCdr Nicole Robichaud, Lt(N) Ian Daniels, PO1 Marc Julien, PO2 Matthew Pitman, PO2 Jim Mutch, PO2 Sebastian Ferns, PO2 Toni Filipovic, MS James Macintyre, MS Richard Balbuena, MS Neil Johnston, LS Chris West, LS Eric Blanchard, LS Chris Peverill, LS Nathan Wright, LS Alex Reid, LS Harveer Gill, LS Julia Rook, and AB Peter Smith.