The third annual Support Our Troops Ride gets underway in St. John's Saturday, in aid of the Jim Shields Memorial Garden.
Paul Snow, president and CEO of the Health Care Foundation describes the garden at the Caribou Veterans Pavilion (CVP) in the Dr. Leonard A. Miller Centre, as a therapy garden for residents living with dementia.
“It is designed to enhance the environment for those living with dementia-type conditions at the pavilion,” Snow said. “It will offer access to the outdoors with safe walking paths and accessible gardening for those who want it and will benefit cognitive, physical, social and spiritual rejuvenation.”
The ride, an annual event for many motorcycle enthusiasts, has contributed about $50,000 to the development of the garden to date and is organized as a partnership between the Health Care Foundation and the Canadian Army Veterans (CAV) Motorcycle Unit, Beaumont Hamel .
“We are anticipating a hundred plus riders and encourage anybody who wants to be involved in a great day for and excellent cause to come out and participate,” said Jim Hapgood, president of the Beaumont Hamel Motorcycle Unit 2 CAV.
The ride covers about 200 km, with a stop for lunch at Marion Hall hosted by Ste. Anne's Parish. While the, the riders we will visit the Cpl. Jamie Murphy Memorial.
“The garden is the result of a partnership between the Health Care Foundation, the Royal Canadian Legion and Eastern Health and has been in the works for nearly three years now,” Snow said. “Monies raised from this ride are important for the completion of the garden which is anticipated to open in November.”
Opening ceremonies for the ride begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Drill Hall (building 310) of Charter Avenue. The ride will leave from there and continue through the east White Hills, west on the Trans-Canada Highway, north on the Veterans Memorial Highway towards Bay Roberts,s outheast on Conception Bay Highway to Conception Harbour for lunch, then back to St. John's via Conception Bay South, on the TCH through Quidi Vidi.
Closing ceremonies will be held at the Caribou Memorial Veterans Pavilion around 3 p.m.
Registration can be done on site before the ride or participants can register or donate online at heathcarefoundation.ca.