Never Too Old!

Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Newsletters | Comments Off

81 yr old Aaron Schmidt on ride dayWhen Aaron Schmidt was four years old, his family came to Canada as refugees. They struggled with learning a new language and adjusting to a new culture.

In October 2011, at the age of 81, Aaron  rode 26 kilometres in the Ride for Refuge in Niagara, and helped raise more than $25,000 for Welcome Home. After a serious biking accident 20 years ago, Aaron knew his wife would only agree to him cycling if he raised funds for Welcome Home.

He trained under the watchful eye of his daughter/team captain Joy and experienced pre-ride nerves after a bout of stress-induced shingles. However, as he said to his daughter Sharon who works as Welcome Home’s Director, “I had signed up because I felt God wanted me to do this so I was very confident that God who started the good work would see it to completion!!”

Aaron’s wife was his biggest cheerleader in his fundraising and during the ride. His extended family, friends and neighbours responded generously to his personal requests, donating over $1000. He says, “It was exciting to start out with 70 riders who all had a purpose for riding that morning.”

FB_IMG_1441413299244After the ride, Aaron had no ill effects. He said, “I was beside myself with exhilaration. There were cheers as we entered the auditorium. We felt so good to have done something so meaningful.” Aaron isn’t sure whether he will ride again next year– he doesn’t want to impair his ability to help his wife – but he enthusiastically says, “Right now, I would go [do it again] tomorrow!”

PS As he has every October since then, Aaron is returning to once again RIDE for Refugees at Welcome Home!  You can sponsor his RIDE and make every KM he pedals count as he welcomes refugees.