Cyclists started the first leg of the triathlon at CVR. Around 26 participants took part in the third annual Triathlon to benefit the Betty Riel Foundation.
©Betty Riel Foundation – Jacques Lemay
The sun could not have shone any brighter for the third annual Betty Riel Foundation Triathlon, which raised at least $8,000 for the organisation on August 26.
As cyclists lined up for the early morning start of the 30-plus kilometre Triathlon course at Chateauguay Valley Regional High School (CVR), there were as many volunteers on site to cheer them on. The course saw teams of three or individual participants cycle from CVR to Arthur Pigeon High School in Huntingdon, then kayak from Arthur Pigeon to the Dewittville dock, and then for the final leg, run from Dewittville back to CVR. Once every participant had crossed the finish line, all were treated to a healthy lunch during which prizes were handed out.
The award for the Full Monty category went to Isabelle Arnau, the owner of De Fleur en Fille in Huntingdon, while the prize for the team category went to Jesse’s Girls, which included Janice Barr, Jesse Barr and Caroline Ness.
"It was a beautiful, beautiful day," says Betty Riel, commenting not only on the weather but the incredible community that came out in support of the Foundation and its intrepid founder.
There were around 26 participants in total this year, which was fewer than in the first two years, however preparations for the 2017 edition were not as straightforward. "I promised Gilles faithfully it would all go ahead," says Betty, while suggesting her late husband was present in spirit for the event. "I had help from everybody. It’s really amazing to see everybody helping each other," she adds, noting she lost count of how many volunteers there were in total.
Partnership with the Bank of Montreal
Among the many volunteers was a team representing the Bank of Montreal, which recently announced its support for the Betty Riel Foundation. BMO the Bear, the bank’s furry blue mascot was on site for the Triathlon, as was a film crew recording the event. "I was totally floored to have them come in and do all of this," exclaims Betty.
"When BMO asked what I would do with more money, I said the more money we get the more we can help the people," says Betty. "And, it’s working," she says of the Foundation she launched with the unwavering support of her husband in 2005.
An ever growing need
During the month of June alone, the Betty Riel Fund paid for 84 trips for patients to meet with doctors or receive treatments. "There is constantly more need," says Betty, of the Foundations pledge to provide transportation to cancer patients in the Haut-Saint-Laurent. Luckily, the local population is showing no sign of fatigue when it comes to supporting the Foundation. For example, over the same weekend as the triathlon, volunteers at the Chateauguay Valley Antique Association’s annual show raised $1,080 for the organization.
For more information on the Betty Riel Foundation or to make a donation, please contact 450-264-3570.