CEO learns life lesson, raises funds on the bike
Toronto health care executive Mike LeClair found a way to honour his late father and raise a significant amount of money for a good cause, participating in a 550-kilometre endurance cycling race from London, England to Paris, France over three days in June.
As a results of his fundraising and cycling efforts, LeClair raised over $50,000 June 26-28 with proceeds going to the West Park Healthcare Centre Foundation. Leclair is West Park’s CEO.
Each donation raised for the cause was matched up to $25,000 by an anonymous West Park board member.
Out of the 450 participants, LeClair was one out of only three Canadians selected to compete in the three-stage ride.
After the feat, LeClair paid tribute to his father, who died several years ago from a COPD-related illness, a lung disease that robs the patient of breathing capacity.
West Park has embarked on a $100-million capital campaign; funds raised will go towards construction of a new adult-rehabilitation Patient Care Centre.
“I decided I needed to do something more personal – I needed to find a way to raise some money for this important development,” says LeClair, who is 57.
LeClair only started charity bike rides five years ago. He told the website gearsbikeshop.com that he began training seriously training for the 550-k ride on Jan. 1 of this year, working with Ed Veal and Mike Mandel of Real Deal Racing. The regimen included six days of biking per week with rides often at 5:30 a.m. – and eating lots of bananas. “I am tired of bananas,” LeClair told gearsbikeshop.com.
LeClair has recovered from his own cancer scare, and attributes bike riding as a key to his healing.
“The thing with the bike is that you can get away and think about stuff. You learn really what’s important,” he told gearsbikeshop.com. “Stuff I might have worried about 10 or 15 years ago is just not a big deal anymore. You know there is always another ride tomorrow. And, that translates to there’s always another day and you can solve problems in a lot of different ways. There is more than one way to climb that mountain.”