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Dear Friends,                                                                                                                               

Twenty one years ago, Mike Harris’ conservative government was in power. They enacted sweeping cuts to many services, the impact of which was felt across the province, and PWA faced a funding crisis. Seeing the danger, two friends – Danny Nashman and David Linton, decided to do something. Putting their heads together, they came up with the idea of a bike ride to raise much needed money for PWA, and the mighty Rally was born. That first year they raised about $45 thousand dollars, and the rest is history.

Currently, we have a government with the same priorities, and although so much has been achieved in the last two decades, the decisions of the current administration mean that those served by PWA have once again been placed at risk. On the chopping block are Public Health services for people newly diagnosed with HIV and those struggling with substance use, legal aid for people applying for refugee status, and, on the slate for next year, devastating changes to ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program). PWA clients depend on all of these services that the present Ontario government has slashed.

What this means is that the provincial government will no longer support some of the most vulnerable in our communities. The government is downloading the funding of these services onto frontline not-for-profit agencies that depend on individual donors like you and me.

Raising money through the Bike Rally makes it possible for PWA to respond to these harsh new realities. We need to surpass our fundraising goal this year, we need to start right now, and we need your help.
If you have reached your goal already – please raise it. Aim high!

If you have already asked for donations, please explain the crisis, and ask again.
Explain to anyone who will listen how PWA provides a vital safety net at times like this.

We are, in so many ways, the house that Danny and David built. We are a community that cares, a community that hangs together, and a community that has been there for the clients of PWA in the past, and we can do it again.

If you need help doing this, we’re here for you. Keep your eyes peeled on our eNews and other communications for ideas and strategies to surpass your fundraising goals. You can also connect with our Fundraising Team for free advice at fundraising@bikerally.org or our Fundraising Coach at fundraisingcoach@bikerally.org.

We are here for each other, and through PWA, we are here for the clients that need us. Reach out, change lives, and help us make our corner of the world a better place. You make a difference.

We are Friends For Life.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Chair of PWA’s Friends For Life Bike Rally