Cycling Fundraiser Exceeds Expectations – Brandon Sun


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Do you remember Rob Nederlof from Prairie Thousand? He’s the sergeant for CFB Shilo, who rode his bike to Lethbridge, Alta to raise money for a service dog for the Wounded Warriors program.

He called it the Prairie Thousand fundraiser.

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Wawanesa’s Rob Nederlof cycled 1,000 kilometers and raised nearly $ 20,000 for the Wounded Warriors Service Dog program.

Well he did it.

His original goal was $ 5,000. By the time he finished the 1,000-mile bike ride, he’d raised $ 19,555, according to Steve Topham, national partnership director for Wounded Warriors.

Wounded Warriors Canada’s Service Dog Program identifies and approves trainers and schools to train WWC-PTSD service dogs, according to its website.

“It was amazing,” Marina Nederlof, Rob’s wife, told the Sun.

“He just loved it,” she said. “When he crossed the finish line we were almost disappointed that we couldn’t do more.”

Marina drove the support vehicle behind Rob as it drove through Manitoba and Saskatchewan, ending in Alberta August 11-19.

“It was definitely a learning experience,” said Marina.

The RCMP in Saskatchewan are great supporters, she said. The chairman of the peer-to-peer group within the RCMP met the Nederlofs outside of Regina.

“They came by the campsite and dropped off a care package, encouraged us and said, ‘We’re here, what you do is really good. We’re doing it together.’

“It was a wonderful visit,” said Marina.

“The response was incredible. When we finished, people were so supportive and accommodating. The media was there. CTV interviewed him and it went through Canada. It was so much more than we hoped for, ”she said. Donations came from all over Canada.

Rob, who was at work at the time of the interview, has since returned to his base job. After hiking the prairie, he took two weeks off and began cycling from Wawanesa to CFB Shilo every day.

He’s already started training for the next big Prairie Thousand fundraiser.

This time it’s 1,000 kilometers from Edmonton to Minnedosa along the Yellowhead Highway.

“We call it ‘The Prairie Thousand on the Yellowhead,'” said Marina.

And then his goal is to cross Canada for the cause.

“It is a dream to travel around Canada with this embassy,” said Marina.

This message is: You are not alone when you have post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It was an experience. Because it was so incredible, we’ll go on for as long as possible,” she said. “A big thank you to everyone who has supported us – companies, friends, family, people we have never met before.”

Topham said the funds raised by the Nederlofs will be used to train multiple dogs as not all dogs pass the 18-month training course.

“The money will be used to finance the training of the dogs. We hope that we will have a high percentage of graduates from this,” he said.

“You are contributing to a fund that is there and offering an opportunity to place so many [dogs] as possible.”

The dogs that do not pass continue to have active and productive employment in the community and are often placed as facility dogs, he explained.

The average price to train a service dog is between $ 15,000 and $ 20,000.

Topham said Wounded Warriors keeps their donors updated and notifies them when someone applies for a dog in their province.

“The Nederlofs allowed us to put so many puppies in the pipeline,” he said.

“By doing this and spreading the funds among many potential candidates, we can get these dogs through the process for these people in greater numbers. The effect is greater this way than if a puppy is funded and it doesn’t get through. “Said Topham.

You can visit Nederlofs Prairie Adventure on Facebook under “The Prairie Thousand” or visit their website: prairiethousand.weebly.com.

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