Melissa Maloney lives and breathes GoodLife. She’s been with the company for 19 years, from a part-time job looking after kids in JUMP! to her current position as Senior Divisional Manager.
Melissa has been involved with Spin4Kids since day one, when she taught a class during the first event in 2012. As the years went on, she became more involved with GoodLife Kids Foundation and Spin4Kids, taking on more responsibility and eventually helping spearhead the event in London.
In London, Spin4Kids started out with each GoodLife Club in the city hosting its own individual, isolated fundraising event. Then it became two events, with one in north London and one in south London. Finally, two years ago, Melissa and her team decided to bring the entire city together for one big Spin4Kids event.
And what an event it turned out to be.
In 2018, London hosted its biggest event yet at Budweiser Gardens, the largest sports-entertainment centre in southwestern Ontario. This year, the event is moving to The Factory, a massive indoor entertainment facility housed in an old Kellogg’s Canada factory.
Despite the impressive venues, Melissa says the heart of London’s Spin4Kids fundraising comes down to the Clubs.
Last year, London was the top Multi-Club Spin4Kids event, bringing in $80,632. Melissa credits the Associates and their passionate fundraising for the city’s impressive grand total. The London Clubs hosted fundraising events every month leading up to the big day in November. Melissa says Associates were always up for another opportunity to raise money, no matter what the event was, and spread the word about helping kids with special needs get physically active.
As for advice on how other cities and Clubs can step up their Spin4Kids game, Melissa suggests just having fun with it. In past years, her cycling sessions have involved playing games while Participants ride—from doing the wave, to playing relay games, to just goofing around in fun costumes.
“People are intimidated by cycling and sometimes physical activity in general. You have to make it fun,” she said. “Try and make your activities inclusive, take out the fear of participating, and make it different than your normal Group Fitness Classes.”
Before GoodLife, Melissa used to work in social services with kids with developmental disabilities—a cause she’s always been passionate about. It makes sense that she pairs this passion for helping kids with special needs with her love of physical activity to immerse herself with GoodLife Kids Foundation and Spin4Kids.
“I just believe in giving back,” Melissa said. “As Associates, we are privileged to work for such a large organization and we have a responsibility to give back to our community.”
GoodLife Kids Foundation ambassadors like Melissa are incredibly important to the success of events like Spin4Kids and made major contributions to the $920,000 raised through Spin4Kids in 2018. If you or someone you know is committed to breaking down barriers and helping kids with special needs get active, share your story for a chance to be featured!