Ride for Cancer sees success amid COVID-19

Ride for Cancer sees success amid COVID-19

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

This is a guest post from Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Foundation
(Member since 1987)


Dianna MacDonald
Development Manager, Special Events & Partnerships, QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation

Hosted by the QEII Foundation, Ride for Cancer powered by BMO Bank of Montreal has raised over $2.6 million since 2015 to advance local cancer care at the QEII Health Sciences Centre.

In 2020, our Ride community is rising to an epic challenge to raise $1 million. It is bringing the QEII Health Sciences Centre one step closer to introducing a new, world-class procedure – a breast seed brachytherapy program. This program will reduce the number of treatments required for some early stage breast cancer patients, from 30 to one in one tiny dose. For patients, this means more time at home, focusing on what matters most.

Cancer care never stops – not even for a pandemic. For the one in two Atlantic Canadians who are facing this disease, this event and this community’s fight against cancer continues.

As the Event Manager, I had been gearing up for the sixth annual Ride for Cancer powered by BMO Bank of Montreal – set to take place on October 3, 2020 – far before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Since then, our event was forced to pivot strategies in order to continue inspiring Riders to register and build support for the cause.

Historically, our tried-and-true recruitment strategy has been through corporate workplace presentations. Teams from Atlantic Canada’s top businesses sign up for the event on the spot and commit to raising $1,000 each (or an average of $1,000 per team member).

With social distancing guidelines and the COVID-19 environment evolving on a daily basis, we were no longer able to inspire these groups face-to-face. This new challenge made us step up with a pivot that could change the way we recruit teams for years to come.

Since March, Ride for Cancer powered by BMO Bank of Montreal has seen tremendous success, despite the many challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented. We have implemented several key strategies to recruit Riders and bolster support for the cause, all while adhering to social distancing regulations. These creative strategies include things like the development of an inspirational virtual video presentation, special incentives for Riders to recruit friends and family and more.

With record-breaking uptake this year, the event has seen over 1000 Riders register. For us, this makes it clear that the community is motivated to support cancer patients right now, and it’s happy to have something to look forward to with family and friends in October.

Our bread and butter through all of this has been to take a positive and optimistic stance, shifting our positioning from a one-day event to a movement and cause that a community can get behind and drive forward.

As the current COVID-19 environment continues to evolve, the Ride for Cancer powered by BMO Bank of Montreal team and the QEII Foundation are closely monitoring the situation and planning for many different event scenarios. While it may end up looking different, this event will happen on Oct. 3, 2020.

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

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