For the 5th year in a row, Sault Ste. Marie will host the famed Ride for Sight charity motorcycle event this summer. On July 8th, 9th & 10th, hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts will descend on the community for two days of riding and fundraising.
Held in support of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Ride for Sight raises money to fund research to pursue the causes, treatments and cures of retinal forms of blindness. Since starting in 1979, it has raised more than $20 million for sight-saving research happening in universities and hospitals across Canada.
“For over 30 years, Ride for Sight has hosted riders and families who have been committed to community funding towards vision research,” said event spokesperson Tanya Boissoneau, a Sault Ste. Marie mother whose son suffers from Familial Exudative Vitreo Retinopathy (FEVR) (pronounced “fever”), a genetic eye disorder that has lead to complete blindness in both of his eyes. “Their contributions help fund research and shed hope for the future for not only myself but to all who are impacted by visual impairments”.
Since its inception, Ride for Sight has taken place in various cities and towns across the country. This summer’s ride in Sault Ste. Marie is championed by local volunteers who dedicate many hours from their personal life and time to plan, fund raise and organize numerous events all through the year. “Instead of asking for sponsorships from local businesses we plan four major fundraisers throughout the spring months and raise the money to put the main event on in July.” says the Planning Committee Chair, Dave Ostrowski-Gallant. “It’s a ton more work but in the long run it is far more rewarding to know that WE did this on our own”. “Don’t get me wrong though, we still look for sponsors to help us grow the event as the participation has almost doubled from year to year”.
Interested sponsors can contact Tanya Boissoneau at [email protected].
The four annual events leading up to main event this year in July are:
- Chili Cook-Off – April 9th
- Horse Poker Run – April 30th
- Gigantic Yard Sale – May 7th
- Car & Bike Show – May 29th
Both motorcycle riders and non-riders can join the weekend festivities. Fundraisers who raise the minimum of $75 will receive a wristband that will allow them to enjoy all of the weekend activities. To kick-off the event, a traditional bon fire with acoustic guitars and singers will entertain the participants as they arrive on the Friday evening. The next morning after a breakfast at Great Lakes Honda the riders will participate in the traditional motorcycle parade, navigating the region’s most scenic roads as a large group with a lunch stop at The Voyageur in Batchawana. Throughout the rest of the weekend, attendees will enjoy bike games, a vendor marketplace, live musical performances, and much more with a few secret surprises.