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Bikers revved up for hospice fundraiser

By: Sam Duclos, for NorthernLife.ca

 | Jul 15, 2014 - 2:27 PM |
Representatives from Caisse Populaire, the Canadian Motorcycle Cruisers and Maison Vale Hospice on July 15 kicked off the Wheels for Hospice event, which is slated for Aug. 16. Photo by Samantha Duclos.

Representatives from Caisse Populaire, the Canadian Motorcycle Cruisers and Maison Vale Hospice on July 15 kicked off the Wheels for Hospice event, which is slated for Aug. 16. Photo by Samantha Duclos.

Wheels for Hospice event set for Aug. 16

Sudbury's Wheels for Hospice roars again this year, raising money for the Maison Vale Hospice.

The city's only palliative care facility, Maison Vale provides people with terminal illnesses a comfortable place to pass away with dignity and in peace.

One of the hospice's major fundraisers, Wheels for Hospice hits the streets of Greater Sudbury on Aug. 16. Once again, the Canadian Motorcycle Cruisers will be lending their support — and their engines — to the cause, touring the city to help raise awareness about the hospice at the same time.

The ride will begin at 9:45 a.m.

And while the money raised by the event is necessary, it is not the only reason Wheels for Hospice hits the streets.

“This event is one of our three major fundraisers,” said Nathalie Depatie, fund development co-ordinator at Maison Vale Hospice. “People actually get to contribute and have fun. For us, it's great to see people not only raise dollars for the hospice, but awareness.”

Depatie said the funds raised will go a long way to helping Maison Vale set up and operate its recently announced pediatric palliative care project. That effort, unveiled in June, tests the waters of extending the hospice's services to include children, something it has not done before.

For the riders taking part, Maison Vale's effort to provide palliative care services to children, and their families, is the perfect reason to rev up their engines for the fifth year in a row. Despite the stereotype of the outlaw biker, most riders really just want to help their communities, said Joanne Ashworth, a member of the Canadian Motorcycles Cruisers.

“That's what bikers really do,” she said. “True bikers give back to the community and that's why we, as a group, have decided to do this.”

For sponsors, like major sponsor Desjardins Group, supporting Maison Vale means supporting Greater Sudbury and its residents.

“It's very important for Desjardins to be a part of this fundraiser because Wheels for Hospice is very important to all of the community.” said Jean Bisson, general manager of Chelmsford Caisse Populaire, another major sponsor of the event. “It provides the services for people to pass in dignity. We're really proud to be a part of this.”

Pledge forms can be picked up at any Caisse Populaire location in the city.

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