It’s nice enough outside these days that if anyone wanted to go for a bike ride, they could.
But it’s also nice to stay indoors and help raise some money while taking part in a spin class.
That’s what was happening at the Racquet Club on Saturday, as a full house of 27 participants took part in the club’s Spin-a-Thon to raise money for the Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation.
It was a three-hour event with non-stop spinning on the bikes and when all was said and done, more than $9,000 was sent to the foundation, which in turn will be given to the new hospital’s psychiatry unit.
This year’s total was nearly 50-per-cent better than the $6,200 raised in 2018.
Catherine Ardiles was the event’s organizer and said things were changed up a bit for this year.
“Last year, we did a Fit-a-Thon but people love to spin so we went with spinning this year,” she said.
The event is an annual one and it coincides with Canadian Mental Health Week each year, she added.
Everyone who took part signed up in advance of the event and went out to raise money on their own. Each participant was on their bike for the full three hours with a five-minute break each half hour.
“That gives everyone a chance to eat or use the washroom or get some water, maybe stretch a little bit, whatever they want to do,” said Ardiles.
Each half hour also brought on a new instructor and Ardiles said each instructor donated their time to the cause.
While the event was a sell-out in terms of participants, Ardiles said there was quite the wait list just in case someone wasn’t able to attend.
“We only had 27 bikes so it was first-come, first-served,” she said. “We had about 15 on the waiting list so we called to confirm everyone and we managed to get a few people onto bikes so that helped make it full.”
The waiting list showed that people wanted to be a part of this, she added.
“Yellowknife is a giving community and everyone likes to exercise or they seem to like spin classes,” she said. “It was a popular combination and we really could do this more than once per year but once per year is what we’re sticking with.”
The hospital foundation is the recipient of the funds raised each year and Ardiles said it means the money will stay local.
“When you do other charities, you sometimes never know where the money goes,” she said. “We’ve been told that the money will be going to buy some new exercise equipment, which works out because the benefits of mental health and exercise together are proven.”
The top eight fundraisers each got prizes from Barren Ground Coffee, Shoppers Drug Mart, Adam Dental, Gaia Intergrative, Lilith Thorn, For Women Only, the hospital foundation and the city. Kenna Snow was the top fundraiser this year as she pulled in $1,000.