Ride 'Revs' Up Attention For Men's Health Issue
Local 'Motorcycle Ride For Dad' Volunteer Executive (l-r), Steve Hollands, Karen Brunette, Ride Chair Charles Brunette, Della Toews
Prince George, B.C. - Motorcycles - they're attention-grabbers. And that's what the Northern BC chapter of the 'Motorcycle Ride for Dad' is counting on as they work to educate and raise awareness about prostate cancer.
"If I had gotten checked this time last year, I wouldn't be planning my own funeral today." Uttered by his friend, Charlie Pester, it was that sentence that motivated and inspired Garry Janz to rev up the first Ride for Dad in Ottawa, back in 2000. Now, there are rides in more than 30 cities across the country and Prince George hosted its first-ever event this past June.
Attending today's Healthier You Expo, the volunteer executive of the local Ride For Dad chapter is already gearing up for next June's event. Ride Chair, Charles Brunette, says, "It's so hard to get men in to see their doctors for check-ups and this is all about starting that conversation and, of course, the motorcylce is just the venue to do it."
Brunette says the inaugural ride saw 120 motorcycles and 147 people take part and $11-thousand dollars raised. The group has hopes of doubling that by next year. "100-percent of the money raised here, stays here in Northern BC," says Brunette. "60-percent of the money goes towards research, while the remaining 40-percent goes to education and awareness."
The research money is held in trust and anyone studying prostate cancer in Northern BC can apply for funding. And Brunette says, through a chat at today's health fair with local reps from the Canadian Cancer Society, he's just learned of a few UNBC Masters' candidates doing oncology research who may be eligible for grants.
Brunette says the local Ride for Dad group just banded together last October, but they have big plans for the future. "We're only a year old, but for us to be invited here today was fantastic," he says. "It means that we've actually made an impact already in the community. And we're hoping to do more of these things."
For more information or to volunteer to become involved, go to www.motorcycleridefordad.org
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