Community members raise funds for Courage in Motion – by cycling at home this year

Alberta's 2019 Courage in Motion Team cycled in Israel for an exhilarating 5 days. This year the event has morphed into a side by side event as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. David Wallach and Nelson Halpern are participating in the 2020 event.

(October 2020) – The 13th annual Courage in Motion, an initiative of Beit Halochem Canada, Aid to Disabled Veterans of Israel, is staying home this year and two members of Calgary’s community – David Wallach and Nelson Halpern – are participating.

While Courage in Motion will not take the cyclists through southern Israel this fall, there is good news: the premier annual fundraising ride, supporting the rehabilitation of more than 50,000 Israeli men and women injured in the line of duty, continues to roll in 2020. Courage in Motion: Side by Side takes place throughout Canada and Israel on Monday, October 12 (Canadian Thanksgiving).

On registering, each Canadian cyclist was teamed with an Israeli veteran. Pairs were encouraged to connect prior to the ride and, on ride day, set out to cycle together side by side in different countries. The restructured event allows more cyclists to participate from anywhere in Canada – including those who prefer indoor biking.

“This weekend I’ll be participating in the annual bike ride, Courage in Motion, raising funds for Israeli wounded veterans,” said Wallach. “Please help me raise funds to support their wellbeing. The ride this year is titled “Side by Side.” Danny Elad, a wounded veteran, from Haifa, my hometown, will ride 40 KM in Israel, while I will be riding my bike from Elbow Valley to Bragg Creek and back for 55 KM West of Calgary on October 12th.”

Both Wallach and Halpern participated in CIM last year and found it to be an exhilarating experience.

“I participated in CIM last year in Israel where we rode side by side with many disabled Israeli veterans in the Golan Heights for 5 consecutive days,” explained Halpern. “The ride was the most difficult activity that I had ever done in my life. The thing that motivated me to keep going up 1000 meters elevation each day in 30-degree heat was that the disabled Veterans were riding with me and even passing me. If they can do it, so can I. This year we cannot be In Israel, but we can still ride side by side long distance.”

Wallach had a similar experience.

“Last year I did the 5 days ride in Israel as a self-challenge for my 60th birthday,” he noted. “The experience was second to none, inspiring, humbling and put our life challenges in prospective. I have learned a lot, riding with and watching them, about teamwork, compassion, competitiveness and how to reach your goals in spite of all hurdles.

“I pray that COVID-19 will leave us in 2021 so I can join them in Israel next year for another 5 days of unparallel experience.”

Lisa Levy, National Executive Director of Beit Halochem Canada, is the ride’s founderAn avid cyclist herself, she says, “Each year, as this five-day journey takes us through Israel, old friends reunite and new friendships form. It is an incredible experience. However, it’s also our largest fundraiser on behalf of the men and women injured while protecting Israel for us all. With travel impossible this year, we regrouped to ensure our disabled veterans would still be helped. The one-day Side by Side has been organized with our cyclists’ collaboration and input.

Courage in Motion is a journey like no other. Side by Side will be no different.”

Click here for information about donating funds to sponsor one of the riders; all donations will receive a full tax receipt. Event proceeds fund programming for Israel’s disabled veterans and their families.

“Cycling is particularly thriving at our leading-edge Beit Halochem Centres as the activity easily accommodates social distancing and, in the current environment, increased demand is anticipated,” adds Levy.

Additional information about Courage in Motion: Side by Side, as well as images from last year’s ride are available here.

“We look forward to next year’s Courage in Motion taking place in Israel from October 17-21, 2021. Registration is expected to open in March 2021.”


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