Over 1,000 Km Ridden & $11,575 Raised (and counting) as Michael's 1,000 Km Ride Finishes
Published Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Celebrating the completion of Michael’s 1000 Km Ride are 9-year old Michael Vita, with his sister Emily, father Domenic and mother Heather. Altogether the Ride raised $11,575 (and counting) for the Area of Highest Need of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation.
After four months, a broken arm, and many memorable bike rides, Michael’s 1,000 Km Ride officially wrapped up on Monday, August 31, when Michael, accompanied by his family and cheered on by supporters, crossed the finish line at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Michael’s 1,000 Km Ride featured Michael Vita, a 9-year old Thunder Bay resident, who set out to ride 1,000 kilometres from May 1 to Sept 1, all while accepting donations for the Area of Highest Need of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation.
Altogether, at the conclusion of the Ride, Michael had ridden 1,004 kilometres and $11,575 was raised, with a grand total to be announced in several weeks once final donations are tallied. A big boost for the Ride came in mid August, when Impala Canada announced they would generously match up to $1,000 in donations to the Ride. This inspired a flurry of donations and Michael’s 1,000 Km Ride is delighted to announce the $1,000 was matched. Additionally, at the finish line on Monday, Allmar Inc. announced a generous donation of $1,000.
“I can’t believe it’s over,” said Michael. “Back when we started in May, I knew that 1,000 kilometres was a big goal, but I don’t think I realized quite how big. I had some ups and downs throughout my Ride, and continuing to ride was tough some days. When I broke my arm in June and couldn’t ride for a few weeks, that set me back, but I think it actually motivated me to get to my goal even more because I knew I had a bunch of kilometres to go and I didn’t want to give up. This past month has been so much fun as I got to ride with family, friends and some special guests and I could see my goal getting closer and closer.”
Continued Michael, “One of the biggest reasons I was able to keep riding was the support I received from so many people; even people I don’t know, but who saw my story. My parents would keep telling me about the donations coming in and I was shocked. I knew that every kilometre we rode meant that we were continuing to raise money for the Hospital and that really inspired me. I would like to thank every person and organization who made a donation to this Ride. I still remember the first donation I received from the Doran family and there are countless others from my friends, family and our community that I was so grateful to receive.”
“Our family is very proud of Michael for setting a big goal and not giving up,” said Domenic Vita, Michael’s father. “This Ride gave all of us something very positive to focus on, when it seemed like everything in our lives got turned upside down. One of the biggest lessons Michael learned was what a generous and caring community we live in. We are truly thankful for every ounce of support he’s been shown throughout the past four months, be it donations to the Ride, encouragement from his family and friends, snacks at Nonna’s house mid-ride or new gear to help him bike; it’s been tremendous and we cannot say thank you enough.”
“What Michael and his family accomplished together, especially in a pandemic, is inspiring,” said Barry Streib, Secretary and Chair, Governance for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. “Our community and the Health Sciences Centre are so fortunate to have had this event take place over the past few months and I would like to thank everyone that took time to make a donation in support of this Ride. And Michael, all I can say is, wow!”
Throughout the Ride, Michael was joined by some special guests including His Worship, Bill Mauro, Mayor, City of Thunder Bay. “I want to take this opportunity to thank, and congratulate, Michael and his family on Michael’s wonderful achievement. It was a pleasure for me to have been able to join Michael on one of his rides. Michael has been an inspiration to all of us. He has reminded us of the potential each and every one of us have to help others and contribute to a stronger and healthier community. Michael, you are a role model to not only our youth, but all of us living in our City and the region.”
In early August, on a 40 kilometre ride from Mount Baldy Ski Area to Loch Lomond Ski Area, Dr. Zaki Ahmed, Chief of Staff at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and his son Saif, joined the Ride for the day. “It was an honour to accompany Michael and members of his family, along with Glenn Craig, the President & CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. I was so impressed by Michael’s determination, not only in biking so far this summer, but in his fundraising efforts for the Health Sciences Foundation. Because of him and the generous nature of those who donated to the Ride, we will be able to continue to purchase vital health care equipment that allows our caring team to provide excellent care closer-to-home. Michael told me he wanted to help people at the Hospital get better and I think that sentiment truly sums up what this Ride has done.”
Donations to Michael’s 1000 km Ride are still being gratefully accepted at healthsciencesfoundation.ca/michaels1000kmride