Graham Daw, and his Branch Out Neurological Foundation Co-Founder Crystal Phillips are no strangers to the impact of neurological disorders. Graham's personal connection was exposed when his father was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the summer of 2010. Crystal, a highly competitive speed skater and philanthropist, was diagnosed with Muscular Sclerosis in 2005. The challenges and frustrations they encountered in dealing with the impacts of these diseases motivated the two to create the Branch Out Neurological Foundation and soon after, the organizations premiere fundraising event - the Branch Out Bike Ride.
The 100 km Bike Tour takes place annually, each June, in Radium, British Columbia and has grown to include 300 riders and over 60 volunteers. Since inception, the Foundation has raised over $650,000.00 to support their cause.
"We're a charity taking the path less travelled to solve a great mystery" says Graham, who also works as a Business Development Analyst at Aux Sable. "The foundation exists to support finding cures for the 600+ diseases of the nervous system that affect nearly 20% of the world's population. We're approaching the task with an open mind, by "branching out" to fund neuroscience and complementary and alternative medicine research (neuroCAM)."
Passionate Approach is Key to Success
Early each year the team begins what will be hours and hours of preparation in order to execute the perfect event. However, the real whirlwind starts in June, with the check in of riders and volunteers and it doesn't stop until the banquet wraps up - usually in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
This year's event saw the riders take to their handlebars and enjoy a perfect sunny day in the park. Along the way, riders were greeted by friendly volunteers waiting with water, snacks and lots of cheers of support!
Team Effort Exceeds Expectations
Aux Sable has put together a spirited team of both cyclists and volunteers since 2011. This year, interest was as big as ever and employees and their families quadrupled their fundraising goal, raising over $12,000!
In addition to the employee led fundraising, the company also donated $10,000, participating as a Title Sponsor of the 2014 Tour.
Congratulations to all of our riders and volunteers, and a special thanks to Graham and his team for their significant initiatives towards funding the research to prevent, treat and cure neurological disorders.
For more information on the Branch Out Neurological Foundation please click here