She had no idea she’d be at it again, raising funds this year for the Toronto Hustle team as part of the “CRUSH COVID” Marathon to support the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation. Clarke, who is Branksome Hall’s Senior Development Officer, Database Management, is also a member of one of the first all-female, gravel cycling teams in Canada, and spends much of her downtime on cycling trips and training, promoting an inclusive environment for more people to get on bikes, she says.
This year, the focus for CRUSH COVID is mental health.
“This cause is important to me because we’re all struggling through lockdown and the pandemic,” says Clarke. “This is a great way to support the community and one another.”
All funds raised as part of the “CRUSH COVID: Ride for Mind” Marathon starting Friday, March 12 at 6 p.m.—whether participants ride a treadmill, Peloton, Zwift or other cycling machine—will go towards the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation’s efforts to support mental health programs, specifically a Transitional Youth Program and new state-of-the-art mental health facilities at Michael Garron Hospital.
Clarke’s Toronto Hustle team has already raised close to $11,500 towards the $300,000 target goal. In addition to fundraising, there’s a record to break. Clarke’s teammate, Lucy Hempstead, is going to attempt to break a Guinness World record for the most kilometres ridden by a female indoors.
Another CRUSH COVID participant is Eric Tripp, Chair of the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation board, a member of the Branksome Hall Foundation board and a current parent. He’s riding with his daughter, Ellie.
“Ellie, Maria and I are excited to be riding in CRUSH COVID and feel very strongly about supporting critical mental health programs for vulnerable groups in our own east Toronto community,” says Tripp. “We are also proud to be part of the Capitalize For Kids (C4K)/MGH team that is focused on addressing mental health issues for kids and youth whose school and personal lives have been profoundly affected by COVID-19.”
Be sure to look up at the CN Tower Friday night as it flashes green in honour of the fight to crush COVID. For more information, visit the team website here