CANADA POST

CANADA POST

September 16, 2010 12:26 ET

Canada Post Employee Completes Epic Cross-Canada Journey by Dipping Bike Tire in Atlantic Ocean

NEIL'S HARBOUR, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 16, 2010) - Wayne Stremel, the Canada Post employee cycling across Canada to raise funds and awareness for mental health, today dipped his bike's front tire in the Atlantic Ocean, completing his 106-day journey across Canada. Averaging 110 kilometres a day, the final odometer on Wayne's bike read: 7,550 kilometres. Joined by a few good friends who travelled from British Columbia to share this moment, this afternoon's tire dip was the end of a journey that first started to take shape almost two years ago.

Throughout his journey, Wayne braved bike mishaps, van repairs, route changes mandated by washed out roads, beaming sun and torrential rains. However, he kept getting celebrity-like welcomes from Canadians along the route and his Canada Post colleagues across the country, helping him raise funds and awareness along the way.

Often asked why he chose this way to get involved, Wayne has been honest in his reply. "Like one in five Canadians I've been touched by mental illness. I have friends, relatives and neighbours who are living with the disease and this was my way of recognizing them as the heroes I know they are. It was also a way to say thank you to Canada Post employees for funds they've raised for the Foundation, and acknowledge the work the Foundation has done." Wayne's tour generated more than $25,000 for the Foundation, an amount that is being matched by Canada Post.

Anthony Wilson-Smith, Vice-president of Communications and Public Affairs, with responsibility for the mental health cause at Canada Post, noted, "Wayne has become a bit of a rock star at Canada Post. He's stopped at almost 100 post offices along the way, to talk about the Foundation and its work, but we've had requests for him to visit many more. Employees have been touched by his passion for the cause and enthralled by stories from his journey, if we could turn his bike the other way and send him back along a different route, we just might consider it!"

When the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health was formed in June 2008, it pledged to do two things: raise awareness about the plight of people living with mental illness and build the capacity of the frontline, grassroots organizations, family members and caregivers who support those affected. The company has kept these pledges. With the support of customers, employees, suppliers and the public, Canada Post has raised more than $2.5 million for the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health. The $1.5 million raised during last year's campaign is being distributed to 32 organizations across the country this month. Grants support groups offering direct, front-line, community-level support to individuals and families coping with mental illnesses.

Until end of day October 17, employees at post offices will be asking customers to donate to the Foundation. On September 7, Canada Post also issued its third fundraising domestic-rate Mental Health stamp. One dollar from the sale of each booklet of 10 stamps goes to the Foundation. This year's campaign goal is $2 million. The company knows its efforts are making a difference - but the need greatly exceeds the resources available and the Foundation has had to turn down many worthy groups that applied for grants as it could only afford to fund a fraction of them. To learn more about the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health, or make a donation visit www.canadapost.ca/hope

Mr. Stremel is available for interviews.

Contact Information

  • Canada Post
    Media Relations
    613-734-8888