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Double défi des deux Mario: Three-day journey on a frozen lake – An unforgettable experience

On the Tip of the Toes Foundation has a worthy ambition: to help young people living with cancer gain new skills and rebuild their self-esteem. The Foundation has organized unforgettable adventures for hundreds of youth, such as canoe, rafting and dog-sledding trips. One of their most popular annual fundraising events, Double défi des deux Mario, invites the public to get into the adventurous spirit with a 32 kilometer (nearly twenty mile) trek across the frozen Saint-Jean lake on skis or snowshoes. In February, 22 Resolute employees braved the cold to participate in this unique outdoor experience. The Foundation is based in Quebec’s Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, which is also home to numerous company operations and thousands of employees.

The trekkers trained for weeks for this three-day, two-night excursion which saw them travel between five and 15 kilometers per day pulling sleds laden with heavy equipment. Extreme weather conditions forced the organizers to modify the course in order to ensure the safety of the participants. The groups headed back to the lake’s shores to spend the night, and began walking again in the morning. In total, 150 brave souls participated in the event. Many described the experience as challenging physically as well as mentally, but remarked on how the cold and the magnificent setting brought them all closer together. At times, the immense lake, which covers 1,053 km2 (407 mi2), resembled an arctic ice field.

Resolute’s team raised $38,500 in support of the Foundation’s objectives. Members of the Resolute delegation shared their motivations for participating in the event. “I profoundly believe that I can improve the lives of these young people, said Janic Gaudreault, manager, Talent acquisition for Quebec. “It’s a personal challenge that takes me out of my comfort zone, and allows me to support the son of a colleague who is currently battling cancer,” said Alexandre Fortin, HR supervisor, Mistassini sawmill. Frederic Bergeron, Optimization and quality supervisor, Chateau-Richer remanufactured wood facility, described how his family has been affected by his wife’s and his own serious illnesses, and how these experiences spurred him to get involved: “It’s a physical and mental challenge,” said Yvon Bibeau, Production manager, Saint-Félicien pulp mill. Jean-Charles Foucault, HR manager, Dolbeau paper mill added that this event represents the challenge of taking on the mythical Lac-Saint-Jean lake in the middle of winter.

Congratulations to all those who took part in this unforgettable event!

To read inspiring blogposts by participants, click here.

To learn more about On the Tip of the Toes Foundation, click here.

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