Last summer, a group of 22 current and retired administrators participated in a biking event on selected portions of the Confederation Trail, and in the process raised $850 towards the School Food Program. The participants very much enjoyed the camaraderie, the opportunity to connect with current and former colleagues, the exercise in the outdoors, and the fact that they were making a contribution to the education system as well.
Because of the success of this event, the decision was made to continue with it, but this time, open the event up to all in the education system – current and retired teachers, EA’s, YSW’s, admin assistants, PSB and DELL personnel, bus drivers, and custodians.
Participants can choose to do their activity – walking, running, or cycling – on any segment of the Confederation Trail or on any of the Island Nature Trails that they wish. Participants are free to choose the duration for their activity, however, we suggest the following:
– cyclists can cycle between 20-40 kilometres
– runners can run between 5-10 kilometres
– walkers can walk between 4-6 kilometres
N.B. The start time can be determined by the individual participants, or groups of participants. Feel free to choose a time that works for you on that day.
There is currently a scholarship in his honor that is administered by the Community Foundation of PEI (CFPEI). This scholarship, valued at $2500, will be awarded to a deserving graduating Island high school student for the first time this year. The scholarship is quite well funded now, but the hope is that, over time, they will be able to offer the scholarship to more than one deserving student annually. While the scholarship fund will be the focus for this year’s event, in future years, we hope to be able to support a wider variety of initiatives and organizations as well.
Participants in this year’s event are asked to donate a minimum of $20 towards the scholarship. CFPEI has the software to accept donations online and issue tax receipts electronically. They can also issue tax receipts at year end for donations made by cheque or cash as well.
We see this event as a tremendous way to not only kick off the school year, bring our education community together and make a difference in the lives of others, but it is also a way to honor the life of a young man who impacted greatly those around him, and left an indelible impression on all who had the good fortune of meeting him. We hope that you can be a part of this event, and make it the success that we know it can be.
We wish you much success with the remaining portion of the school year. We recognize that it has been a challenging year, and you are to all be applauded for your efforts.
If you have any questions, comments, thoughts, or suggestions, please feel free to direct them to any of the organizing committee members: Norman Beck, Seana Evans-Renaud, Windsor Wight, Heidi Morgan, and Doug Doyle.
Yours in education,
“The Jake” Organizing Committee
Last year’s event did not have a name, however, this year it will be called “The Jake”, in honour of Jacob Simmons, a young man who died tragically after being struck while cycling by an impaired driver in June, 2020. We wish to provide you with some background on Jacob, which will help to explain why having this event named in his honour is appropriate.
Jacob was not unlike many students we come across in our daily lives in education. Raised on a farm in Mount Buchanan/Point Prim, he learned early on in life the value of working hard. He was a great kid growing up and well liked by his peers. He lost his way a bit in high school but overcame those challenges and turned things around as a young adult. Those who knew Jacob were most impressed with the quality person that he had become.
Terry Fox was a big inspiration in Jacob’s life, and he regularly donated to his foundation – even though he didn’t have a lot of money to give. He also participated in the “Charity Miles” program whereby he generated donations for every mile he ran or cycled – which started to add up. Again, he didn’t have a lot to give, but did so with a giving heart to help others.
Jacob loved the outdoors, and all of the adventure it had to offer. He could be regularly found running and biking on the Confederation Trail and other Island trails, and he had a personal goal to run every nature trail on PEI in 2020, as well as to cycle Tip to Tip across the Island. Gairloch Trail, near his family home in Belfast, was his personal favourite.
This Instagram post comes from Colin O’Brady, one of his “running community” friends – a fellow avid outdoor adventurer and professional tri-athlete – who posted it after he learned that Jacob had died. There is an accompanying video that shows Jacob participating in the “Calendar Club” – a running challenge in which participants run a mile for each day of the month – Day 1 = 1 mile and Day 30 = 30 miles. The video is about 2 minutes long, but it gives you a good visual of Jacob and provides some insight into the type of person he was, and the impact that he had on others.