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Published online at on February 24, 2011.

Linda Hoang, Global News: Thursday, February 24, 2011

Students bike for 12 hours to help fight cancer

More than 100 students at a southside Edmonton school have traded their pencils in for pedals as they take part in the school’s second bike-a-thon for charity.

Wheels began spinning at Ecole J.H Picard at 9 a.m. on Thursday with 155 students biking non-stop for 12 hours.

The fundraiser is in support of Cops for Cancer and organizers say it’s a “tremendously important” event for students at the school.

“The bike-a-thon gives them an opportunity to feel like they’re empowered and it gives them an opportunity to make something positive out of circumstances that are often very difficult to deal with,” said Lenore Torrie, one of the event organizers.

“To be able to work as a group and at the end of the day they’ve looked at what they’ve been able to do by themselves and they pool it together as a team, it’s remarkable to see how excited they get when they know that their team has accomplished a much greater goal as a unit and a school and a community.”

The bike-a-thon is also set to feature some well-known athletes.

Canadian Olympic speed skater Doreen Ryan is participating in the bike-a-thon and will be speaking to students and Sister Madonna Buder, a famous nun from Spokane, Washington who has competed in over 40 Ironman competitions around the world, will be joining the event via video conference.

Last year the students raised $14,700 for Cops for Cancer and organizers say that goal should be surpassed after Thursday’s event.

Two out of five Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes.

Last year, Cops for Cancer, an independent fundraising organization, collected more than $1.1 million for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Cops for Cancer works closely with local schools and within the community to support and facilitate many fundraising events through each year.

Click here to read the article on the Global Edmonton website.

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