On the home stretch
Hundreds of motorcycles and their riders finished the 2019 TRDO at the Joel Steele Community Centre in Winchester on June 1. Thompson Goddard photo
NORTH DUNDAS – For 19 years, the Telus Ride for Dad Ottawa has been raising funds for prostate cancer research. 2019 event co-chair Samantha Hastie mentioned in the early afternoon that $216,000 plus was raised during the event held on June 1. Hastie continued how “our philosophy is we give where we ride” with executive member Tina Gibson explaining the funds raised would be donated to the Ottawa General Hospital for prostate cancer research.
The Telus Ride for Dad Ottawa (TRDO) began at the Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, made its way to Morewood for Poker Stop Number 2, passed through Chesterville during the Art on the Waterfront event, continued to locations in South Stormont before ending at the Joel Steele arena in Winchester in time for lunch and an awards ceremony.
North Dundas Mayor Tony Fraser explained that North Dundas became part of the TRDO after discussions began in 2015; with a poker stop in the municipality for the 2017 event, and in 2018, North Dundas hosted the lunch and awards ceremony.
This year, the lunch and awards ceremony returned to the Joel Steele Community Centre in Winchester, with a poker stop in Morewood being added as well. Fraser mentioned early reports from the Morewood poker stop were positive, commenting that it “went well, everyone was happy.” He also commended the work of Morewood fire chief Ken Byers and volunteers.
Lunch was provided in food court style just behind the Winchester Curling Club with North Dundas deputy mayor Al Armstrong explaining that “a cross-section of our local food vendors” was showcased, with the hope being that the motorcycle operators would be motivated to return to North Dundas in the near future.
Don Helman, a past co-chair of the event, mentioned how the event depends on the work of almost 200 volunteers, explaining how “it takes a lot of people” doing everything from pre-registration, registration on the day of the event, route planning and a multitude of other jobs. He added that this doesn’t include the local volunteers along the route, at poker stops or ensuring the safety of both riders and people watching the motorcycles pass by.
One of the founding members of the TRDO, Gerry Westland, was at the event and mentioned that when the event began in 2000, 85 motorcycles participated, with Hastie mentioning an estimated 1,100 motorcycles were in this year’s event. There was an air of excitement when organizers were asked about any special plans for the 20th anniversary of the Ride next year; with the only comment being that planning was underway and to watch for more information.