Morgan Wikene (left) and Elaine Balul finish up the first ride of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Big Bike ride in Williams Lake Thursday afternoon. Balul has organized the ride in Williams Lake for 10 years and is stepping down this year. She was honoured with a cake and a big thank you from Lisa Verity

Morgan Wikene (left) and Elaine Balul finish up the first ride of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Big Bike ride in Williams Lake Thursday afternoon. Balul has organized the ride in Williams Lake for 10 years and is stepping down this year. She was honoured with a cake and a big thank you from Lisa Verity

Big Bike raises more than $16,000

Riders of the Heart and Stroke Foundations’s Big Bike helped raise $16,000 when it was in Williams Lake last Thursday.

Riders of the Heart and Stroke Foundations’s Big Bike helped raise $16,000 when it was in Williams Lake last Thursday.

“The numbers we have so far, total raised for the day, is sitting at approximately $21,596.80 combined, $5,596 of that is from 100 Mile and the balance, $16,000 even, is from Williams Lake,” said Lisa Verity, Big Bike and special events co-ordinator for Kamloops/Cariboo – BC and Yukon Heart and Stroke Foundation,

“Our goal for the day was $18,000 so you can imagine how excited I was to surpass it by so much,” Verity said.

A total of 163 riders participated‚ 29 from 100 Mile House and 134 from Williams Lake.

After volunteer co-ordinator Elaine Balul’s team‚ The Beat Goes On‚ completed the first ride on Thursday afternoon, Verity thanked Balul for her dedication.

“Elaine’s commitment to both her community and the Heart and Stroke Foundation has been the driving force behind the growth of the Williams Lake Big Bike over the past 10 years,” Verity told the Tribune. “ As a volunteer based organization, we are especially grateful for community minded individuals, such as Elaine, who recognize the importance of going above and beyond to ensure the success of our fundraising events.”

All of the funds raised from the Big Bike are used to further the foundation’s mission in creating awareness and life-giving research, she added.

“As a result of Elaine participating in her first ride in 2006 and setting a personal goal to expand the Williams Lake Big Bike, her success in achieving that goal translates to Williams Lake creating even more survivors.”