The final numbers are still being tallied, but Ride For Dad organizers are pleased with this year’s fundraising effort.
The nearly 700 riders raised $72,000 in registration fees and pledges, said organizers.
Once proceeds from the past year’s fundraisers and sponshorship dollars have been tallied, the amount is expected to exceed $170,000.
About 700 bikes and more than 1,000 riders and passengers showed up for the Avalon Chapter of the Motorcycle Ride for Dad foundation’s annual Father’s Day weekend fundraising ride in St. John’s Saturday morning.
Before heading out, riders received a blessing for a safe ride from motorcyclist and Pentecostal minister Shane Simms from Marystown.
With its theme, On The Move Against Prostate Cancer, hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts left the Newfoundland Power parking lot on Kenmount Road, and paraded through the streets of St. John’s and Mount Pearl.
Riders displayed their shiny chrome two- and three-wheelers as they revved along the designated routes, all for the goal of raising funds for prostate cancer research and awareness in Newfoundland and Lab-rador.
After finishing up at Wal-Mart on Kelsey Drive around midday, the group headed to the highway through Conception Bay as far as Carbonear. The riders headed back to town, rolling through scenic Brigus and coasting along Route 60 before finishing up at the Robert French Memorial Stadium in Kelligrews.
Along with the individual riders who took part Saturday were members of the Blue Knights Law Enforcement, St. John’s Regional Fire Department firefighters association, the 2nd. Canadian Army Veterans motorcycle unit, Northern Stars, members of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the Harley Davidson owners group, to name a few.
One bystander was overheard saying, “I didn’t realize there were so many bikes in St. John’s.”
Motorcycle Ride for Dad began in 2000 in Ottawa with 80 motorcyclists riding, raising more than $20,000 for a local cancer centre. Now, more than 30 cities participate in the annual ride, including the St. John’s area, Gander and Corner Brook.