Lloydminster's adult Boy Wonder

By Geoff Lee

June 8, 2017 12:00 AM

Jarrod Russell, kicked off his June bike rides in the Great Cycle Challenge with a $10,000 boost to fight kids' cancer raised from his Wings of the Warrior golf tournament at Rolling Green Fairways on June 4. In his golf cart sits his dad Wayne and supporter Cliff Rose.

He has become Lloydminster’s adult boy wonder of fundraising to support kids with cancer.
Jarrod Russell, a 41 year-old brain cancer survivor,  kicked off his June bike rides in the Great Cycle Challenge with a $10,000 donation to the SickKids Foundation of Canada.
Last year, Russell was the nation’s top fundraiser in the month of rides, by amassing $22,927 in his quest to cure kids’ cancer.
The money for his 2017 cycle challenge was raised at his Wings of the Warrior charity golf tournament at Rolling Green Fairways on June 4, which included a banquet and a silent auction.
A total of 64 friends, relatives and supporters took part, to the surprise of Russell, who brought his recumbent bike and a bag of golf clubs to the course.
“I can’t believe how many people are donating their time to come out here,” he said prior to the shotgun start.
“It’s more than I was thinking; it’s a pretty good turnout.”
Russell’s oldest sister, Lana Lane, who helped him organize the tournament was equally thrilled by the turnout.
“It went really well for the amount of people that were there and what we did,” she said, noting about 90 people showed up for the silent auction and supper.
The proceeds from the tournament will soon be added to Russell’s donation account on the greatcyclechallenge.ca website, which stood at $670 the morning of the event.
He said if he can top last year’s total that would be great, but he’s OK with whatever people donate during his daily rides about town.
“I’m not too worried about the end; if it’s $23,000 or lower it doesn’t matter; it’s for the kids,” he said.
Russell has also set up a donation box at Payless Car & Truck Wash.
One of his biggest supporters is his dad, Wayne, who entered the tournament not having golfed for three or four years.
He chatted about his son’s cause while getting a free pre-tournament massage from volunteer students at the Lloydminster campus of the Alberta College of Massage Therapy.
“It’s great; he’s working hard at it that’s for sure,” said Wayne.
“Everyone seems to be hyped up about it and they got a lot of sponsorships, which is good for the silent auction today and stuff like that.”
Lane said it’s been very exciting to see the community come together and support her brother in his cycle challenge, as well as his charity golf tournament.
“They knew Jarrod and what he is doing for the cycle challenge, and that Jarrod is very passionate about trying to kick off his fundraiser with something a little bit different,” she said.
Awareness of what he is trying to accomplish helped to bring Tammy Holtby out for nine holes of golfing for fun.
“Jarrod’s done a tremendous job raising funds and he’s just such a great young man and his whole family’s done a lot for the community,” said Holtby.
“It’s the least we could do, to come out and support them.”
Russell’s goal is to pedal 1050 kilometres this month, with his routes and distance mapped and logged on the cycle challenge app.
One of his fans is Cliff Rose, who shared a golf cart with him and his dad.
“He’s a great guy and he deserves all the accolades that he gets too,” said Rose.
“He just does a wonderful job for cancer, and I remember when he was just a baby, so that’s how long I’ve been here.”

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