Canadian 10-year old is the riding force behind fundraising efforts to benefit others.
Sean Bernardo is like many other 10-year-old boys. He enjoys playing video games, he is sometimes annoyed by his two younger sisters, and he loves sports, and pretty much any activity that lets him burn off his energy. In fact, Sean used to have so much restless energy that he sometimes had trouble sitting still.
A few years ago, in an effort to channel his son’s energy and also bond over a shared interest, Sean’s father, Ardison began taking him on bike rides. Together, they would ride for long periods of time without tiring, and Ardison began to wonder just how long his son could last. At one point he asked Sean, “Why do you have so much energy?” to which the boy replied, “God gives it to me.”
An idea was soon hatched to use Sean’s energy and new passion for a greater good. Ardison, pastor of Bramalea Filipino-Canadian church in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, and his wife, Cindy, had always endeavored to teach their children about being engaged in ministry and their community. Ardison planned Sean’s first bike ride fundraiser as an event to help send the youth of their church to a Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) convention in Orlando, Florida, United States.
A goal of 53 kilometers was set, and on May 2013, Ardison and Sean rode together on an unpaved trail around Brampton. Despite the challenge of using a single-gear bicycle on rough terrain, Sean persevered, and the father-and-son pair completed the ride in just under eight hours. Approximately $1,000 was raised for GYC, and a spark was ignited in Sean.
While Sean enjoyed being surrounded by nature, the rough terrain proved difficult, so the next year, Ardison decided to switch to a paved trail. On August 2014, the pair embarked on a new challenge—a 100-kilometre round-trip jaunt along the Toronto waterfront. Sean’s passion for Pathfinders led him to fundraise for the “Bible and a Buck” project at the 2014 International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States, which aimed to collect 25,000 Bibles for distribution to countries with little or no access to it.
Armed with a larger multi-gear bike (in fire-engine red!), Sean and Ardison began their journey in Scarborough, Ontario. This time, instead of riding straight through, the pair enjoyed the scenery along the waterfront, stopping for photos and breaks along the way. Unfortunately, Mother Nature did not fully cooperate, and halfway through the ride, it began to rain.
At first, Sean was not bothered by the drizzling rain—he found it refreshing after the restrictive heat earlier in the day. However, as the rain continued, their clothes became more soaked, and fears of…