Alex Rauket is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime.

“Leaving Port Elgin, final destination is Montreal, but that’s eight days from now,” said the Port Elgin Shriner.

Rauket will be biking the 850 kilometres for the Shriner’s Hospital in Montreal. The avid cyclist came up with the idea last year, but has pulled everything together now that COVID has subsided across the country.

“I’ve become more avid in the past few months training for this. I just rode by bike a lot. Tried to eat healthy, make sure the route is right, try and work around that Ontario summer construction,” said Rauket.

His fellow Shriners will be riding shotgun for him along the way as he embarks on his multi-province fundraiser.

“Today is a culmination of a lot of brainstorming and doing the right things on behalf of the kids in Montreal,” said Bruce Shrine Club Treasurer Frank Eagleson.

The Shriners Hospital for Children-Canada, located in Montreal, provides treatment and rehabilitation for children with orthopaedic and neuromuscular disorders.

Along with raising money for those children, Rauket is viewing his ride across Ontario and Quebec as a way to attract younger Shriners to the philanthropic organization.

“Like any volunteer organization, guys are getting a little older. We need some new members. So I thought I can tell people what we do and show people what we do, and raise some money, along the way. And maybe we get some new members to help out at the same time,” he said.

The initial ‘Kilometres for Kids’ goal was $25,000, but that already doubled before Rauket even hit the road.

“As of this morning [Tuesday], it was $58,000 raised. At this point, we’ve already passed our stretch goal, so we’re just going to keep pushing,” said Rauket.