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By Lisa Thibodeau 

More than 400 tech workers and their supporters donned workout clothes – and, in some cases, feathered costumes – before climbing aboard stationary bicycles in Nokia’s Kanata North parking lot en route to raising more than $184,000 to support
children with cancer.

The annual Nokia Powering the Inside Ride is a partnership between the telecom giant and the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation. Teams of six raise money and cheer each other on as each member takes their turn pedaling up a storm.

With music blasting and beach balls flying through the air, the event takes on a party like atmosphere that includes awards for the best team spirit and top costumes.

Team VCL Construction came dressed for the occasion, raising just under $38,000 for Candlelighters. SUBMITTED PHOTOS.

“It’s really a celebration of the end of a couple of months of hard work raising money,” says Tom Brewer, co- coordinator of the Inside Ride. “It’s really special.”

Now in its 12th year of partnership with Coast to Coast Against Cancer, the 2019 edition attracted 64 teams that spent months fundraising prior to the event. With more than 70
childhood cancer diagnosis last year in Ottawa alone, the money will be used for initiatives that support patients, survivors and their families.

These include parent support groups, a suite at the Canadian Tire Centre used for family outings as well as the purchase of iPads that help young patients stay connected with friends and family while they are receiving treatment.

“When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it impacts the whole family,” says Jocelyn Lamont, executive director of Candlelighters Ottawa. “This event has really brought our level of programming to the next stage.”

With local mascots on hand from the Ottawa Redblacks, Fury and Senators helping to pump up the crowd alongside families that have benefitted from the Candlelighters’ support, it wasn’t just the charity that benefited from the May event.

Spirits were high as riders pushed through the final minutes of their cycle. SUBMITTED PHOTO.

The atmosphere under the tent is always alive with spirit and friendly competition, says Adam Nadeau, site engagement coordinator at Nokia and co-coordinator of the Inside Ride.

Organizers note the event gives employees a chance to get out of the office, exercise and support one another and have a good time, which helps create a more positive work

“The event itself is extremely fun and it’s been great to see it evolve over the years and become a more inclusive community event,” says Lamont. “The camaraderie and the spirit is something you have to experience to believe.”

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