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Cycling for a CAUSE

March 7, 2018
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SMS Equipment was a proud participant in the Annual Grand défi Pierre Lavoie which took place June 15 to 18 in the province of Quebec. The Grand défi Pierre Lavoie has become a very important cultural and sporting event in Quebec that truly rally’s Quebecers together on many levels. It’s a cycling marathon where cyclists’ bike alongside Pierre from Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean to Montréal in a 1,000 km relay challenge to raise money to promote healthy life habits among young people. The event also supports hereditary orphan disease research through the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie Foundation’s scholarships and grants and through the school sponsorship program.

This year, SMS Equipment teamed up with Les Pavages Chenail Inc. to form the SMS-Chenail team where a team of five cyclists each covered more than 400 kms of the race.

The 2017 event featured 1,060 participants and our very own SMS-Chenail team which had left on Thursday at 6:00 PM from Saguenay-Lac St-Jean. After three grueling days of cycling, the SMS-Chenail team triumphantly entered Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday, June 18th at 3:00 PM. Throughout their journey cyclists were greeted and cheered by thousands of people in the various towns along the route. The SMS-Chenail team covered a total of 1,872 km and raised $53,815 in donations.


Alain Bédard congratulating Ronald Lauzon, the driver of the group vehicle who, at age 68, also covered over 225 km on his bike

SMS Equipment was well represented by Marc Lemieux, Manager of Forestry Division, East Region--St-Augustin de Desmaures, Alain Bédard Executive Vice- President, East Region Laval and Denis Fortin Vice-President, Sales, East Region Laval. Marc Lemieux was exuberant after the race, “For my part, this exceptional experience helped me to grow! In Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie there is the word ‘challenge’, and I truly found my personal challenge in this event! Pierre Lavoie always says: ‘don’t forget that discomfort makes you stronger, so that must be what I am feeling this morning … stronger!’ Truly, it is a very emotional event where there is a lot to gain in every aspect of our lives!”

Plans are already in place for the SMS-Chenail team to participate next year for the 10th anniversary of the Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie. SMS Equipment would like to thank Marc, Alain and Denis for proudly representing our company. Special thanks go to Les Pavages Chenail Inc. for riding together with us as partners. And, we would like to extend a sincere thank you to our colleagues and business partners for their generous support in helping us raise $53,815.

“This is an event where we surpass ourselves for a good cause, our children’s health! And it is an outstanding organization with dedicated volunteers who make this event possible year after year.”

- Alain Bédard

Covered a total of 1,872 km

Raised $53,815 in donations


Arrival at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal at 3 :00 PM on Sunday, June 18th. L to R: Marc Lemieux, Alain Bédard & Denis Fortin, SMS; Michel Prégent, Chenail and Ronald Lauzon, retiree from Lafarge.

At SMS Equipment, being part of the Grand défi Pierre Lavoie in Quebec and events that are important to our employees across Canada is very important to us. We believe that investing in our people and the communities where we do business helps us to grow and achieve more. We’re not just driven by the work we do. We’re driven to raise a higher standard in our branches and our regions by giving something back. A stronger community: It’s something we’ve always believed in. It’s something we’ll always invest in.