A three-hour motorcycle ride through Greater Sudbury on Aug. 17 translated into $31,000 for Maison Vale Hospice.
More than 100 riders and 75 motorcycles roared their way from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine en route to four different pit stops, where participants played games for their chance to win prizes as part of the annual Desjardins Wheels for Hospice.
Nathalie Depatie, fund development co-ordinator for Maison Vale Hospice, said this year marked the fifth ride in Sudbury. It's an opportunity for motorcycle enthusiasts to help raise awareness of the hospice and funds to cover its operational costs.
“A former board member who was a motorcycle enthusiast wanted to get his fellow riders involved in fundraising for the hospice,” Depatie said.
That was five years ago. Today, there are many types of riders who participate.
While Desjardins is the title sponsor of the event, the Canadian Motorcycle Cruisers is the host club, and its members make up the majority of the participants. They are joined by the public, too, and bikes came in all shapes, sizes and colours for Saturday's ride, some on two wheels, others on three wheels
Jean Bisson, general manager of Caisse Populaire Vermillion in Chelmsford, said this is the second of a three-year commitment by Desjardins to support the hospice through this event.
“We chose the hospice because it's a necessary service – when someone is dying, they can do so in dignity, and the work its staff and volunteers does is fantastic,” he said. “It really meets the Desjardins values, which is why we are so proud to support this event.”
An $8,000 corporate donation by Desjardins was topped up to $11,140 through various fundraising events at the 12 branches throughout the region, Bisson said.
“This has become quite a popular event,” Depatie said. “It grows year to year.”