Speedboating in Support of The Twinkie Foundation

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Speed Boat

People gathered at the Roberta Bondar Marina on Sunday to take part in the Charity Ride of a Lifetime as part of the fourth annual Sault Ste. Marie Poker Run.

This year’s charity of choice is The Twinkie Foundation, a local charity that helps families with sick or critically ill children who need to get to places outside of the Sault for services the Sault doesn’t have, such as Sick Kids (Toronto), CHEO (Ottawa), etc. TTF helps families with things they aren’t able to get from other avenues, such as fuel allowances, meal allowances, accommodations like the Ronald McDonald House, parking, etc.

“For us it was important to find a charity that helped children – that was one of the mandates of Poker Runs America and we totally embrace that,” Alana Kenopic Manager of Sports Tourism & Special Events for the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation told SaultOnline.

“We wanted a charity that helped support local children, and it just seemed that the Twinkie Foundation was a really great fit, when I talked to Karen she was on board and we formed an immediate partnership.”

Karen Lefave, Executive Director of the Twinkie Foundation, said they were very honoured to be the charity of choice for this year.

“The vibe down here on the waterfront this weekend is just different. It’s just unlike anything I’ve ever seen so far in Sault Ste. Marie,” she said.

“We have this beautiful outdoor playground here and I think we need to get out and utilize that more. So we’re very excited to partner up and we’re very excited that these boats stick around to basically volunteer their time to do these charity rides for the Twinkie Foundation.”

Five participants in Sunday’s event were Joan, from Sault Ste. Marie, and her four friends from Denmark, who were first-timers on a speedboat.

They all told SaultOnline that they enjoyed their experience and were happy to help out a local charity.

“We’re very supportive of local charities such as the Twinkie Foundation,” Joan said. “And we loved (the experience).”

“This is a wonderful, wonderful charity to help,” Anne Murray-Goring, another first-time participant in this event, told SaultOnline, “and I’m so glad to support them.”

Lefave said they don’t have a specific fundraising goal in mind, but they’re hoping this event will raise more awareness for the Foundation, as it’s only in it’s second year.

“It’s twofold, because we are so new still that we really just want to get our name out there, because we can’t help families that don’t know we exist.

“(This is) kind of huge. It’s kind of validating the fact that an event this big has asked the Twinkie Foundation to join and partner up with them. We are a registered charity, which is very important to a lot of people, so it’s awesome that this group of people sat around and said ‘You know what? What’s a charity that’s meaningful, what’s a charity that’s helping people that we can help this weekend?’ and they chose the Twinkie Foundation. So we’re honoured, we’re so grateful to the organizers in the city, to Alana, to Bill Taylor and the crew at Poker Runs who have organized this event.”

For more information on the Twinkie Foundation, visit their website here.

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