Three Years Strong

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The 2015 Manitoba ATV Ride for Dad the biggest yet

By Jim Backus

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed men’s cancer in Canada. It affects one in seven men, their families and loved ones. Successful treatment depends on early detection. In the longer term, research into improved diagnoses, treatment and prevention will further improve our capacity to deal with this disease.

The mission of the Ride for Dad is to raise funds to save men’s lives by supporting prostate cancer research and raising public awareness of the disease.

Ride for Dad events have been taking place in Canada for over 15 years. What started out as a single motorcycle ride in Ottawa has now grown to include ATVs, snowmobiles, and watercraft. Since the first ride in 2000, over 250,000 men, women and children have been involved in helping to raise over $15 million to help fight prostate cancer.

The Manitoba ATV Ride for Dad chapter was formed in the winter of 2012. With the success of the Manitoba Motorcycle Ride for Dad it was decided to bring the ATV ride to Manitoba as well.

The Manitoba ATV Ride for Dad chapter holds its rides in the Interlake region out of Stonewall, Manitoba.

The first year is always the most difficult. Starting from scratch we had our work cut out for us. We obtained corporate sponsorships, got the backing from the town and municipalities and then got the word out about the ride through radio, TV, and social media. The first ride was September 28, 2013. We woke up to very dark skies and steady rainfall.  We had radio personalities come out to emcee the event and take part in the ride. We even had a few of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers come out to take part and support us. Even though the weather was not in our favour, in the end we managed to have 104 riders participate and we raised over $10,000 for the cause.

With the first year in the books we immediately turned our sights to planning the 2014 event. We knew that we could build on the success of the first year to become bigger and raise more money.

With a year to plan for the next event we went to work.  We obtained more corporate sponsorship and gained more local support. September 13, 2014 was the second annual ride. The weather was in our favour this time and we watched truck after truck pull into the lot to unload their ATVs.  In total we ended up with 197 participants that helped us raise over $30,000! We were ecstatic!

In October of 2014, Jim Backus (Chair) and Len Hoey (Treasurer) flew to Moncton, NB for the RFD annual summit.  There they met executives from all the different chapters in Canada and were able to network.  Valuable information was gained to help the chapter grow even more successful. During the award ceremonies the Manitoba ATV chapter was awarded a plaque for the “Most Sponsorship Dollars” of any non-motorcycle RFD event in Canada! And this in our second year.

The 2015 event took place on Sept. 12. The ride began at the Stonewall Ag grounds (Red Barn) just north of Stonewall, on Hwy 236, continuing through the Interlake in the municipalities of Rockwood and Woodlands on an “event day only trail” consisting of a mix of private property, crown land and portions of the Interlake Pioneer Trail. The Interlake Pioneer Trail was Manitoba’s first designated and insured multi-use ATV trail. It’s managed by the South Interlake ATV club and spans 106 km from Hwy 67 near Stonewall all the way north to Fisher Branch.

For more information on the Manitoba ATV Ride for Dad, visit: Facebook: Manitoba ATV Ride for Dad, Twitter: @MBATVRideForDad, or www.RideForDad.ca