Marty the Marmot

Marty the Marmot

No coasting on coast to coast ride

National Bank advisors, friends and family ride for Free the Children

National Bank financial investment advisors, their friends and family are putting their pedals to the pavement to raise funds for Free The Children’s Big Dreamers Award. The plan is to cycle ocean to ocean across Canada in the second annual bike ride to raise funds for Free The Children. The ride is divided up into more than 40 different legs, each of a length that anyone in reasonable physical shape should be able to get from the start to the finish without too much difficulty.  The east bound riders kicked off the event in Victoria last Wednesday morning and stopped in Sidney for a spell before biking to the ferry Sept. 7 for the month-long ride. The westward legs start from Halifax on Sept. 18. East and West meet up in Montreal on Oct. 1.

Free The Children is the world’s largest network of children helping children, with more than one million youths involved in its innovative education and development programs in 45 countries. National Bank Financial has been associated with the charitable organization since 2006.

The Big Dreamers Award is a financial award given to carefully chosen Free The Children student fundraising groups to allow them to effect even greater positive change. The projects that these youths are lifting third world communities out of poverty by providing sustainable access to education, clean water, health care and alternative sources of income.

Among the tables filled with cake, cookies and Free the Children information, the WHL Victoria Royals were represented by Marty the Marmot, and a handful of BCHL Victoria Grizzlies players were on hand to launch the leg of the ride.

“I just see what it does for young people to have a cause, to have a purpose … hockey makes leaders, Free the Children develops leaders, it all comes together,” said Ron Walchuck, vice president and BC regional manager for National Financial.

National Bank Financial partnered with the Royals to put on an inter-squad game fundraiser that raised nearly $8,000 for the Big Dreamers fund.

“With the proceeds from the gate going exclusively to the Free The Children Big Dreamers Fund, we will be able to help local student fundraising groups to effect even greater positive change,” Walchuck said.

Follow the ride or donate online at