2021 was a successful year of fundraising. The team got together and rode bikes, filmed, took photos, and made some fun Youtube videos, fuelled by the positive feedback we were receiving for our efforts in the community, and most importantly were making meaningful connections and friendships that may have otherwise never existed.
We started 2021 with a small fundraising goal of $500-$1,000 which had turned into approximately $10,000 raised and was given to a local trail society called Moose Mountain Bike Trail Society (MMBTS). The WoodridgeMTB team was stoked to support our favourite place to ride bikes. The significant support we received from their Vice- President and friend Joey Reinhart made our efforts feel appreciated. His time and dedication to helping us grow was generous and helped us keep our foot on the gas pedal.
Throughout the 2021 Season I had asked myself over and over, do I do this again next season, or is this a one-and-done? Did something special, sacrificed time for others, and finally contributed and gave back to mountain biking.
It was a hard question, as I knew I had started something that I may want to walk away from or grow into something bigger, more impactful in the community. One major component was missing, something that would keep me up at night. What am I doing to help others suffering from addiction, where does this crazy fundraising momentum fit? How do Mountain Biking, Stoke, Vinyl, my ADHD, along with crazy ideas fit? Where can it make a small difference?
I struggled to find the perfect fit, sent some emails, and made some phone calls, some returned, some not. Lunches, talking about the fundraiser, and more unreturned emails. I was starting to convince myself that maybe it’s not meant to help people in recovery and that it would be a successful season of fundraising and that’s it.
Until I called my friend Nick, whose wife is an addiction counsellor, and I asked where I could volunteer and maybe talk about my own recovery story. "The Alpha House" she suggested, “They are always looking for volunteers”.
I reached out to David at the Alpha House with a short email asking if I could volunteer and a brief description of what our fundraising team was doing and how I was in recovery myself. I was invited and asked if I would like a tour of the Alpha House, and could then decide where I might be able to volunteer.
The tour would change the trajectory of this cause, my focus, and story forever.
To Be Continued . . .
- James MacDonald