For the 6th year in a row, Sault Ste. Marie will host the famed Ride for Sight charity motorcycle event. On July 7, 8, 9 hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts will descend on the community for two days of riding, fun and fundraising taking place at Stokely Creek Lodge this year.
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 lives to plan, fundraise and organize numerous events all through the year leading up to the main event in July. Planning Committee Chair Dave Ostrowski-Gallant says “It’s a ton of work but in the long run it is just so rewarding to know that WE did this”. “We are always looking for sponsors to help us grow the event as the participation has almost doubled from year to year”. To date, Ride for Sight Northern Ontario, with the generosity if its participants has donated over $69,000 that goes directly to fund research for degenerative eye diseases.
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 at Stokely Creek Lodge. The next morning after a breakfast at Great Lakes Honda sponsored by the GWRRA (Gold Wing Riders Assoc.) the riders will participate in the traditional 3 hour 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.
If you are unable to come out for the whole weekend celebrations but would like to participate in the motorcycle parade on Saturday, you are more than welcome. Meet us at Great Lakes Honda at 9:30am July 8th to register. For a $25 donation you get breakfast and a spot in the 3 hour parade. All makes and models of motorcycles are welcome.
Interested sponsors can contact Tanya Boissoneau at [email protected].
To register online and start fundraising, visit www.rideforsight.com, or for more information call 1-800-461-3331. Forms are also available for manual fundraising.
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