Earl Farrell Endowment Fund continues to grow

The Gran Fondo Lake Huron 2023 was the best of challenges, and for me, a beast of a challenge!! The first half of the ride was full of rolling hills and headwinds as it made its way SE toward Paisley. Wonderful volunteers provided support along the way. The cheers were welcome and the refreshments at the aid stations were lifesavers! One can never underestimate the power of fuel on a long ride. Here’s to the folks who provided the potato chips (salt), bananas (potassium), Gatorade (electrolytes) and the hundreds of homemade butter tarts* (sugar) for the Gran Fondo participants!

*Butter tarts were Earl’s absolute favourite treat. I had no idea they were going to be on the menu. I have participated in so many events over the years but never have I seen butter tarts at an aid station! I couldn’t help but think that Earl must have had something to do with them. I completely choked up when I saw them, but once I took a deep breath and thought about it, I knew Earl was with me. The more I embraced this, the easier the ride became. Never mind that once we turned north along the shores of Lake Huron and headed back toward Southampton, the course flattened, we had a tailwind, and I was able to draft off the leaders in my small but mighty group. At one point I checked my Garmin and saw that we were flying along at 32km/hour! I never ride at that speed. It must have been the butter tarts!

Earl’s Endowment Fund (EFEF) at the Southampton Hospital grew by almost $8,000 in just over a week! Thanks everyone! Once the dust settles on the fundraising totals, I will provide more details, but as promised I did donate $5,000 to the Gran Fondo mental health fund on your behalf, so your donation to Earl’s Endowment benefitted this incredible project as well. If you haven’t donated to Earl’s Endowment Fund but intend to, please check out www.smhfoundation.ca/earlfarrell . The EFEF will live on in perpetuity at the Saugeen Memorial Hospital, so donations are always welcome.

And some incredible additional news: The Gran Fondo Lake Huron raised $500,000 for the new Grey Bruce Mental Health and Recovery Centre, scheduled to open its doors in Owen Sound in October 2023. This one-of-a-kind mental health facility in Canada will address the current “addictions and mental health crisis through person-focused care, recovery and empowerment”, “will integrate both health care and social services”, and it is projected will serve as many as 4,000 patients per year.

So, thank you again, to all who donated to Earl’s Endowment Fund, and to those who got busy doing some exercise on August 20th. I loved reading the reports that so many sent. Your mental and physical self will thank you.

With memories and so much gratitude,

Geordie Farrell.

PS. Next up: I am going to dig out my running shoes and prep for the Terry Fox Run on September 17. I plan to honour Terry’s selfless commitment to raising funds for cancer research, his memory, and his epic run across Canada. Maybe you will join me wherever you are?!

You can walk, ride, scooter, run…whatever works for you!  https://terryfox.org/terry-fox-run/