Ride for Kid raises $12,000 0
Those taking part in the annual Ride for Child held this Saturday weren't letting a little monsoon discourage them from making it one of the best rides ever.
A total of 21 motorcycles rolled out from the Irving Big Stop, defiant in the face of heavy rains brought by the remnants of Hurricane Isaac. Together with the 75 people who came out for dinner at Johnny's Field in La Passe, they raised $12,000 to help the family of six-and-a-half year old Liam Cameron of Renfrew pay for specialized washroom renovations and the construction of a wheelchair ramp.
Theresa Giroux, the founder, organizer and coordinator of the Ride for Child, said she is just amazed with the results, considering how the day started out with such bad weather. Conditions did improve as the day went on.
"The rain stopped around Barry's Bay and petered out as we rode the rest of the day," she said, noting by late afternoon the rain stopped and the sun was starting to come out.
"We finished the ride with a rainbow. I mean, how great is that?"
While not everyone who assembled at the Big Stop for registration actually rode, those who did make an appearance were generous to a fault with donations to the cause.
The UN NATO Veterans Canada Petawawa Group stepped forward once again to help out with a donation of $1,200, and one motorcycle club, The Simple Men from the Snake River area, presented a $500 cheque.
"It just blew me away how many came out at the beginning," Ms. Giroux said. "For the number of people we had, this has been one of the biggest rides ever."
"It was just a really great day."
The Ride for Child started out as The Ride for Josh in 1998, held to help raise funds to purchase a lift and track system to help in bathing Ms. Giroux's son, who like Liam had cerebral palsy. The government doesn't fund such specialty equipment, so the ride was started to try and raise money to pay for it.
The event was so successful, thanks to the generosity and participation of the bikers taking part, it was decided to hold it annually, helping out different children and their families in the area.
In 2005, the ride shifted back to helping with Josh's expenses, as he had outgrown the equipment needed for daily care. On July 22, 2006, Josh Kreutz died at the age of 17. For that year only, a ride was not held.
Ever since, Ms. Giroux has organized the rides as a tribute to the memory of her son, as well as help other families who are going through similar things that she did.
She credits the endless and generous support of all motorcycle enthusiasts and many others who never fail to come out and support the Ride for Child year after year.
"I got nothing without them," Ms. Giroux said, noting they plan to bring the ride back again for 2013.
Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist