Knights of Columbus Bishop Budka Council No. 5914 of St. Basil’s Ukrainian Catholic Church is hosting the 100 Mile Bicycle Trek fundraiser Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22, with participants riding 50 miles daily.
A group of Catholic men from southern Saskatchewan plan to cycle more than 100 kilometers on Highway 1 as part of a fundraiser to support orphaned children in Ukraine.
Knights of Columbus Bishop Budka Council No. 5914 of St. Basil’s Ukrainian Catholic Church along with volunteers and sponsors are hosting the 100 Mile Bicycle Trek fundraiser on Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22, with participants traveling 50 miles by bike every day.
The event will kick off at 8 a.m. in Regina from Tim Horton’s at Harbor Landing and head west on the Trans-Canada Highway to Moose Jaw. The group leaves The Friendly City the next day at 8 a.m. from the downtown Tim Hortons restaurant and returns to The Queen City.
Among those expected are members of the Knights of Columbus, volunteers, cyclists, youth, wheelchair athletes, law enforcement personnel and anyone else wishing to support the cause.
The organization has supported orphaned children in Ukraine for the past 10 years and provided resources to meet their needs, including helping them stay away from the sex trade and supporting their mental well-being, explained Terry Shalley, Events Coordinator and Project Manager.
Life was tough in Ukraine for families before the war started, he said. Many parents divorced for financial reasons or domestic disputes, so some abandoned their children because they could not afford to care for them. This forced young people to take to the streets and, in some cases, they fell into the hands of traffickers.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, the Knights of Columbus felt the need to increase their support – with food, clothing, medicine, baby supplies and more. The number of orphans increased because their parents died during the fighting.
“I had the idea. I just thought it was such a good cause…” Shalley said. wheelchair bicycle in Ukraine before the war, and he rode all over Saskatchewan last summer, so we’ve built on the legacy of what he did.
Although the fundraiser also commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Knights of Columbus in Saskatchewan, supporting orphans is central to this activity. All the money raised will be used to meet their needs.
Shalley noted that the organization has people in Ukraine who provide regular — sometimes daily — updates through pictures and text messages about their work.
This group is the Sisters of St. Joseph, a registered charity based in Saskatoon. A handful of sisters were there before the war and decided to stay there when the fighting started. They traveled all over the country, finding orphans and families and taking them to safety. Some sisters even crossed enemy lines to find and retrieve young.
While there are thousands of orphaned children in Ukraine, the sisters have worked with around 500.
“They are angels. They are like guardian angels there,” Shalley said. “And we see the proof of that. Again, my friend gets the texts and we see pictures and you say, ‘My God!’
“They are God-given angels, I tell you.”
Many people in Saskatchewan’s Ukrainian Catholic community have relatives in Ukraine — including Shalley — and have tried to keep in touch with them. He said some people have brought relatives to Saskatchewan with their own money, while others are looking to the federal government for help.
All donations collected during the fundraiser will go to the Sisters of St. Joseph, who will purchase supplies and distribute them to children in Ukraine.
All donation payments can be made by mile or lump sum to St. Basil’s Ukrainian Catholic Church at 1747 Toronto Street, Regina, S4P 1M5 or by e-transfer to [email protected]