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Snowmobile ride raises $15,000

By Stephen Uhler, OBSERVER MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST

Giles Ouellet, ride captain, leads the way as 60 snowmobilers hit the trail Saturday morning at the start of the sixth annual Telus Snowmobile Ride for Dad. Some 60 riders braved the frigid temperatures and cold weather warnings to raise $15,000 to be used in the fight against prostate cancer.

Giles Ouellet, ride captain, leads the way as 60 snowmobilers hit the trail Saturday morning at the start of the sixth annual Telus Snowmobile Ride for Dad. Some 60 riders braved the frigid temperatures and cold weather warnings to raise $15,000 to be used in the fight against prostate cancer.

LAURENTIAN VALLEY TWP. - Call them the cold warriors against prostate cancer.

On Saturday morning, 60 riders gathered at the Timberline Snowmobile Club before heading out on the trails to defy the bone chilling temperatures and -45 C wind chills to take part in the sixth annual TELUS Snowmobile Ride for Dad.

Bundled up for the conditions, the riders followed the trails from the clubhouse to Chalk River, where they had lunch, then returned to Timberline to wrap things up.

The ride, plus the auctions held afterwards raised a cool $15,000 for the cause, the fight against prostate cancer.

Bernie Boulay, event co-chairman, said he and the organizers were very pleased with how the ride went this year, especially considering the challenges participants faced while dealing with the frigid temperatures and strong Arctic winds.

“We really, really want to thank everyone who were just troopers today,” he said, coming out in the extreme conditions to take part in the annual Ride for Dad.

“We're all just very happy with the turn out.”

The event was inspired by the successful Motorcycle Ride for Dad, which has raised both funds and awareness of men's cancers for more than a dozen years now.

Speaking to snowmobile riders at the Timberline clubhouse prior to the start of the ride, Byron Smith, founder of the Ride for Dad praised them for coming out in the severe cold.

He said their participation is doubly important because first off, the snowmobile ride started here, and second, because of poor trail conditions across the province, they are among the few who are holding it this year.

Smith said the Pembroke and area rides have collectively raised $150,000, not including this year's total.

Phil Pamment, who spoke about the cause, said his 91 year old father is still with him thanks to early detection, which enabled doctors to treat his prostate cancer. He explained when he talks of this men's cancer, he hears stories ranging from how people are still here thanks to early diagnosis and treatment, to “that's how I lost my Dad.”

Pamment said the death rate is declining, and word is a new urine test is showing promise as another tool to use for early detection, but there is sill a long way to go. It is because of people who take part in events like the Ride for Dad that there is the funding to research for better detection and treatment methods.

“Life is precious,” he said. “Thanks for all of your efforts in this fight.”

stephen.uhler@sunmedia.ca


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