Physical therapy exercises aren’t things Susan Lardinois enjoys doing on a daily basis, but when she does them to raise money, it’s a different story.
Lardinois is a resident at St. Vincent’s Care Center in Bismarck and is part of its senior division team for the Sanford Health Great American Bike Race.
“This is our third year this year and I don’t feel like we can quit now,” Jenny Zobel, activities director at St. Vincent’s said. “The residents have fun and it’s something we look forward to each year.”
The Great American Bike Race raises money for families of children with cerebral palsy and related disabilities. Instead of riding stationary bikes in the Century High School gymnasium with all the other GABR teams on Saturday, the members of the senior division ride a nustep bike, use the upper body exercise machine, or other machines for their 20-minute time slots in the therapy room of St. Vincent’s.
“For me, it’s an easy way to raise money,” Lardinois said. “I like raising money for a good cause.”
Another team at St. Vincent’s made up of 12 staff members. Each of the 12 is asked to raise at least $100, which is the encouraged price of every GABR participant.
“It’s a fun activity and the staff have enjoyed it,” Anne Zwarych, an intern at St. Vincent’s said.
Zwarych said it gets competitive between the two teams. She said the incentive to win is the satisfaction of raising more money than the other team.
The past two years have been “Hawaiian” themed, but Zobel and Zwarych haven’t decided what this year’s theme will be.
“We try and make it not look exactly like the therapy room — something a little more festive,” Zobel said. “It’s a total different day than the norm, which is cool.”
Flyers were sent to family members about donating to the team and supporting them that day.
“The excitement of the day — you can just tell it’s different here. So many people come down and watch,” Zobel said.
Last year, St. Vincent’s was awarded “Best Practices” by Long Term Care Association because of its role in GABR. Zobel said she has heard interest from other nursing homes in doing something similar but has yet to see anyone else participate.
“We would like someone to compete with,” she said.
Donations are accepted through the day of the event with all proceeds going to GABR.
“We like to do it,” Lardinois said. “It raises money for a good cause.”
To donate to the senior division online, go to http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/stvincents-residents/great-american-bike-race-2013.