Clive counsellor biking 421 km to raise funds for Central Alberta Youth Unlimited

Jeremy Whelan raised $2,200 for Lacombe FCSS Fill-A-Friday last year

Jeremy Whelan, Village of Clive counsellor, is beginning another charity bike ride fundraiser after raising $2,200 for the Lacombe FCSS Fill-A Fridge program last year.

This year, Whelan is hoping to raise money and create awareness for Central Alberta Youth Unlimited’s latest YouTurn housing project.

“I looked into where I could make the biggest impact in central Alberta. Through conversation, I was able to find out that Youth Unlimited’s housing project is trying to purchase a house for the girls they help,” Whelan said.

Whelan’s ride is the beginning of a fundraising campaign that will look to cover the entire cost of the $400,00 purchase price of the home. Youth Unlimited has already received $80,000 from the City of Lacombe and the Affordable Housing Steering Committee.

Housing Director for YouTurn housing Penny Ure said the Lacombe house will go a long way to help eliminate youth homelessness in the community.

”We have room for three girls in our houses aged 16 to 24. This helps them have a safe living environment. A lot of them come from at-risk situations and they are very vulnerable young ladies. We want to create a safe space for them,” Ure said.

Youth Unlimited was hoping a hold a community event in the fall to cap off the campaign, but has chosen instead to hold it in Spring 2021 due to the current local economic climate.

Whelan said people can support his fundraising ride by clicking on links on his Facebook and Instagram. The ride itself consists of 421 km jaunt through the Rocky Mountains beginning in Banff and ending in Clive — starting on Tuesday, Aug. 25 in the morning.

“I spent the winter training to be prepared and I trained a lot harder than I did the previous year. I am a lot stronger on the bike this year, averaging close to 100 km every three hours,” Whelan said.

Whelan hopes to create awareness throughout the entire trip

“I thought about how neat it would be riding through parts of the Rocky Mountains and then make my way back to central Alberta to grab attention from people all over,” he said.

He added, “I really hope that people understands that there is no community that is not affected by at-risk youth and homelessness. This is something we need to start paying a little bit more attention to.”

Ure thanked Whelan for bringing attention to this cause.

“We are thrilled Jeremy called us. We didn’t even know him, so it is great that he is helping us to prevent homelessness in our youth and create hope and wholeness as well,” she said.

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