Well folks, I did have the opportunity to tell you about an event, and now I can take the time to tell you how it went. This did work out well for me as I hoped to tell you about the event before the event, then make a report on completion..
I went to Drumheller Alberta for the FUCK CANCER, Ride for Brandon. This first time event is a grass roots initiative to support a local youth diagnosed just last fall. The route was designed to run everyone as a group through the badlands, and around to some nearby small towns.
As it was their first event, they obviously followed the time tested principle of KISS – Keep it Stupid Simple (how many people think the –SS means – Simple Stupid?), and had things streamlined and straightforward. From that perspective – everything rolled smoothly (having run a few of these, I know that things were probably mass hysteria behind the scenes).
The weather co-operated and I don’t know of anyone that didn’t have a good time (well maybe the guy that broke down might disagree with me). The turnout was great… for a first time event to get over 125 bikes is an achievement. It exceeded the numbers expected by the organizers – which is a great problem to have. The locations that had card stops were smartly organized so that as you entered the building, the line progressed right to the card table, into the lounging style area, with extra exit to the outside – it looks like someone considered traffic flow.
The day was a complete success – from what I understand, they raised over $20,000 which exceeded their $10,000 goal. It is hard to argue with that level of success. What made it a success – talking to other participants – the riding community in Drumheller all seemed to “bring a friend”. There were a few random participants from away like me, but most that I talked to had friends in Drumheller that encouraged them to attend. So, if 50 local riders each brought a friend, plus the bunch that will support any Cancer fundraiser they can get to (like me), then 125+ isn’t that far away.
They don’t have a website or anything (I am watching for it if they do) but you can buy patches, and stickers(seen in my twitter feed, personal Facebook, and recent blog posts) from Top Rocker in Rosedale, all proceeds go to help Brandon’s family. Go check them out if you happen to be playing tourist in the area (which of course is highly recommended). I took a quick photo when I ended up at the travel info center missing my first turn to get to the start location… it had been almost 15 years since I had been there last.
Coming up – on the 28th of May.
The second annual Wheels For Our Wounded event. This poker run fundraiser in Edmonton endeavors to raise funds to support wounded Veterans or First responders by facilitating mobility, which increases independence (big side effect of positive mental health from this freedom), and quality of life. Brainchild of Alberta motorcycle columnist, activist, and community supporter – Belt Drive Betty, WfoW is raising funds this year to support an injured Veteran.
For details and pre-registration, or to donate to support – please check out the event page. There were many lessons learned during the first event, and a healthy dose of KISS will be applied this year. The poker run will be a tour of some of the largest items east of Edmonton (so you can think about where) offering many tourist opportunities. It will not be a big group run, but people will get the map and can make their own way, so that they can take the time, get photos and enjoy the day. I will be helping out, so I hope to see you there.
Other details about the WfoW goings on can be found on the Facebook page – it mentions other items where donors have been connected with recipients of wheels that are not connected to the poker run. Please check out the page, give it a like, and tell your friends.
There are many other events to tell everyone about, so I am going to mention a few others here….
4th of June – is Emilys ride for Teen mental health() – this is a heartwrenching story that impacted some of my Veteran friends and they are putting on a ride in memory of their daughter. I will do a separate post about this event, because many of my MH friends may not be truly aware how close teen mental health/suicide has impacted more than 1 family in our community (if you don’t know what MH means – then you probably won’t know who I am talking about) with a family struggling to find help, and another family that has suffered a loss, and this is in addition to Emily’s family. Please consider supporting by pledging to me/donating to CASA house and receive a tax deductible receipt … Again – I will post more in the near future about this story. But, feel free to share to help me maybe take a shot at the prize for most pledges received… if there is a prize… I never paid attention to that. Please give the Facebook page a like and tell your friends.
Fort McMurray fundraisers are everywhere now.
Tuesday bike night at Blackjacks May 10th is being turned into a fundraising event for people impacted by the massive forest fire. I have every intention of attending that one – it just works out that I was hoping to make it to a bike night there soon already, now I can do it for a good cause. These weekly poker runs are great short duration fundraisers that are hugely effective at promoting great causes. Hats off to Blackjacks for ensuring that the benefit continues.. plus – their burgers are pretty good.
There is another event going on coming up that I am not sure if I can make it… but I hope to try depending on other schedule factors. This all day event SE of Calgary is sure to make an impact.
Enough rambling for now, thanks for following along on this journey.