Among the 25,000 cyclists participating in this year’s Tour de l’Ile will be 200 conspicuously dressed individuals whose biking efforts will benefit more than just their fitness levels. The group of bright green-shirted bikers will be representing Colors of Concordia, an organization dedicated to promoting projects that bring about greater cultural understanding.
Through its participation in Montreal’s Tour de l’Ile, the group, made up of students, faculty, staff and alumni, raises money for the Colors of Concordia Cultural Inititative Fund (CCCIF), which supports organizations whose objectives embrace diversity and promote cultural awareness. Participating cyclists seek pledges for completing the 50-kilometre Tour circuit, and all moneys raised contribute directly to the CCCIF.
“We need to encourage cultural awareness,” says Marvin Coleby, a political science student who assumed the presidency of Colors of Concordia this year. “Being sensitive to diverse cultural identities doesn’t just help us understand different countries, and customs. It actually means we can better understand people, the way they think, act and feel. We enrich ourselves in the process.”
The organization has been in operation for ten years. It was founded by Ramona Senecal, who works as receptionist for undergraduate student programs at the John Molson School of Business (JMSB). Senecal, who had participating in the Tour de l’Ile for years, felt that the event offered the Concordia community an opportunity to couple philanthropy with a celebration of its multicultural membership.
The group’s fundraising efforts led to the establishment of an endowment fund, from which a scholarship is awarded annually to the Concordia student that best demonstrates a commitment to volunteer work that promotes understanding between cultures.
In 2010, the Colors of Concordia Cultural Inititative Fund was created in order to disperse funds to qualifying organizations who apply for grants. Last year, the fund benefitted five organizations through the disbursement of $13,600.
Colby believes that Colors of Concordia has had an enormously positive effect on cultural communities within Concordia. “We need to celebrate these ten years of success!” he says.This year’s Tour de l’Ile is taking place on June 3 and Colors of Concordia is encouraging members of the Concordia community to participate in the event, make a donation or to sponsor a rider.
The deadline for registration has been extended to midnight, Thursday, May 24, 2012.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to obtain a pledge form.
Posted May 15, 2012