For the second year in a row, a West Kelowna man is cycling to Merritt on Father’s Day to raise money for clean drinking water around the world.
But this time, he’ll be riding back to Kelowna to double the distance, and hopefully, double the donations.
“This money goes to a humanitarian organization called Global Aid Network, and what it does is they go into places all around the world ... and they build and dig clean water wells,” explained Kevin Bessey.
The Global Aid Network's Water for Life initiative takes place in Benin, Togo and Tanzania.
Bessey says he hasn’t had nearly as much time to train for the trip as he did last year, but that the feeling of last year’s accomplishment will be what helps him push to complete the 240-kilometre grind.
“About three quarters of the way, it was very tough and very gruelling and my legs were kind of done. There was this kind of, this constant reminder that every pedal stroke I do is a chance for somebody to get some clean water, and so it really made a big difference. As I rolled into Merritt, it was very satisfying,” said Bessey.
Bessey says millions of people die each year due to waterborne illnesses, something that can be prevented by having access to clean drinking water.
“As a dad I want to be able to protect my kids, and at the very least be able to give them clean water. So if I can do that for somebody else’s kids today, that’s a big deal.”
Bessey was able to raise over $2,000 in his ride to Merritt last year, but with a return trip booked for this Father’s Day weekend, the goal is to rise above and beyond that mark the second time around.