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June 1, 2005 - The ideal vehicle for your Centennial celebrations!


June 1, 2005

The ideal vehicle for your Centennial celebrations!

SASKATOON (May 2005) - It's a great way to get together with friends to help celebrate our province's centennial - and it's coming to your community! It's the Heart and Stroke Foundation's SaskEnergy Big Bike for Stroke.

"A bicycle built for thirty people is a pretty amazing sight," says Noreen Johns, president of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, "and we manage to turn heads everywhere we take the SaskEnergy Big Bike for Stroke. This year the Bike will be proudly flying the Centennial Flag as an official Saskatchewan 100 celebration, and we're inviting you to be part of it all!"

The Big Bike for Stroke made its first appearance on Canadian roadways in Alberta in 1987. Since that time, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has expanded from one bike to a fleet of nine bikes that visit more than 200 communities coast to coast with over 54,000 riders. Saskatchewan's Big Bike was designed and built right here in the province, and measures 30 feet long and eight feet wide. It will criss-cross the province right through until early September, stopping at towns and cities large and small. Rides can be organized just about anywhere there's a group of people willing to ride.

"We bring everything you need for a great time on the bike," says Johns. "We'll supply the bike, the driver, refreshments, souvenirs and incentive prizes. Any team signing on for a ride just needs to bring their enthusiasm and pedal power and gather pledges for their ride. It's a great chance to get out as a group and have a good time, with the additional bonus of supporting the work of the Heart and Stroke Foundation."

"There's only one way to keep pace with the research needed to reduce death and disability from heart disease and stroke," she notes. "You have to have the financial resources to ensure it continues. Because of everyone who rides the bike, everyone who makes a pledge and our sponsor SaskEnergy, the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Big Bike for Stroke is able to contribute significantly to this research funding."

"SaskEnergy is excited to be the title sponsor of the Big Bike for Stroke for the fourth consecutive year," said Leslie Gosselin, Manager of Advertising and Community Relations for SaskEnergy. "Everyone who volunteers to ride the bike and collect pledges is helping to make a difference in the lives of Saskatchewan people. As the Champion of Volunteers in Saskatchewan, SaskEnergy is proud to have staff, family and friends volunteer to ride the bike all across the province for this worthy cause."

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, almost 40 per cent of Canadians will develop some form of heart disease or stroke over their lifetime. With our aging population it is crucial to understand the underlying causes of these diseases. Continued support of research is the key to finding earlier ways to diagnose and better ways to treat heart disease and stroke while providing Canadians with critical information on how to protect their health.

More than 4000 Saskatchewan riders will climb aboard the big bike this summer, at homecomings, parades and just for informal get-togethers. You can be one of them! Any group (for example, employees, families, clubs and neighbors) can reserve a ride on the Big Bike. The Foundation's experienced driver takes the wheel and keeps the group entertained. Riders recruit family, friends and co-workers to ride or sponsor, and riders can qualify for great prizes based on the funds they raise.

Call the Heart and Stroke Foundation, toll-free at 1-866-334-6333 or log onto www.heartandstroke.ca/bigbike to find out how easy it is to join the fun.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation is a national voluntary organization working to reduce the impact of heart disease and stroke. The foundation is your expert source for free information on healthy lifestyles and understanding heart disease and stroke, and is a leading funder of cardiovascular research in our province and across the country.

For further information contact:
Lorie Langenfurth, Provincial Big Bike for Stroke Ride Coordinator
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Saskatchewan
1-888-473-4636 Bike@hsf.sk.ca

Leslie Gosselin
Manager, Advertising and Community Relations
SaskEnergy
1-306-777-9822