At Cascades, Valérie Desrosiers is a true source of inspiration for her work colleagues. Her involvement in the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau over the past 4 years is remarkable! The cyclist agreed to talk to us about her great devotion to the mission of the Charles-Bruneau Foundation and the involvement of her employer.
"What motivates me is the joy of giving back. Being healthy is a privilege. Why not put that energy to good use?
Last year, I was lucky enough to do the Tour with Geneviève, a great mom, who accompanied her daughter through the treatments. If a mother of two takes the time to give back, train and ride (with her family following her at every stop), then I've got the time too."
For this year's fundraiser, Valérie opted for fun and accessibility. She relied more on sweet treats that people would like to have again and again. As was the case with the sale of her homemade chocolate-covered blueberries and candy cones.
She also prepared two dinners to benefit the Foundation. Who can say no to a pulled pork dinner or a taco fiesta for a worthy cause? It was a great success, with 70 people attending the two events at head office. She also exported the concept to another division as well as externally for a total of four other meals. All this, in addition to participating in other initiatives such as paper sales and raffle tickets.
"It's gratifying and stimulating to put in all these efforts and to see that they are recognized and encouraged. There's nothing better than working for a company that has community involvement at the heart of its values," she says.
When you consider that her employer, Cascades, is in its 18th year of involvement with the Foundation, it's motivating to redouble your efforts for the cause. "I'm proud to contribute to the Charles-Bruneau Foundation through Cascades, because it's tangible. We can see the tangible effects of our commitment thanks to the investments made by the Foundation. Investments that help Quebec children grow up. Families are better supported and supervised, and research is progressing at breakneck speed," adds Valérie.
She also explains how she brings her colleagues together to combine training and team building:
"People can see photos from previous years and see that the cyclists are smiling despite the fatigue, and that it's an enriching experience on a personal level, but also as a team. When we tell them our anecdotes, people can't say no to such an energizing gathering!
How do you prepare for such a major physical challenge? Valérie answers: "I train twice a week at the gym and in the pool. My dog also helps me prepare! This year has been more festive. I changed my spring training to the gym at Cascades Groupe Tissu's head office in Candiac, to encourage my colleagues to come and take part in the Fit and Fun with Val course. Each participant had to pay $5 to take part in a class. My colleagues took part in the challenge, not only to challenge themselves, but also to support our fund-raising activities with great generosity."
Finally, we asked Valérie for her best anecdote from her participation in the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau.
"We couldn't fail to mention our infernal sprint under police escort to find the Pointe-aux-Trembles ferry dock!
But what will always remain engraved in my memory is the sense of accomplishment that came over me when we arrived on the first day of the Gatineau route, after 175 km of pedaling. For me, it was a record distance. We arrived in front of families grateful for their help, outstanding organizers, but also our own families. My family had happily surprised me by being present. I simply burst into tears when my cousin came to hug me.
To all cyclists, families and children, don't be afraid to dare and go for it. A popular company says their product gives you wings, but I can guarantee the same is true of the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau! The Tour gives you wings!
Thanks to Valérie Desrosiers and her colleagues at Cascades for their invaluable involvement. To encourage the cyclists who will be pedaling in the Tour CIBC Charles-Bruneau, make a donation to the Cascades team.
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