Fighting Prostate Cancer, One Ride at a Time
by Heather Vita
The thunderous roar that marked the start of the Tbaytel Motorcycle Ride for Dad, presented by WINMAR was an in-your-ears reminder of the continued fight against prostate cancer in Northwestern Ontario. With hundreds of bikes revving their engines at once, the sound was deafening and brought with it an important message – we’re in this fight together and we won’t back down. The morning’s roar was not to be confused with the actual thunder storm that drenched riders late in the Ride in the afternoon.
Now in its 18th year, the Tbaytel Motorcycle Ride for Dad, presented by WINMAR welcomed 249 riders and passengers and raised $75,541.63 , bringing the 18-year total to $1,077,896. All funds raised through the Northern Cancer Fund support prostate cancer education, care and research in Northwestern Ontario, with 100% of funds staying local.
As in previous years, participants began with a hearty breakfast served at the Victoria Inn, followed by the Roar for the Cure, with a parade around Thunder Bay, a filling lunch at Silver Mountain Station and then back again to the Victoria Inn to enjoy some time together. Throughout the day, riders enjoyed the sights in and around town as they collected poker cards, with prizes awarded for top poker hands.
Always held the day before Father’s Day, the event is a perfect opportunity to celebrate men and encourage conversations about prostate cancer. Glenn Craig, President and CEO, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, said, “We have always held this event on Father’s Day weekend so we have a chance to focus on men and, most importantly, focus on keeping men healthy. We know that facing a cancer diagnosis is terrifying, but thanks to the longevity of this Ride, and the funds that have been raised, men in our community can have great hope and be assured that we have exceptional equipment here to diagnose and treat prostate cancer. That wouldn’t be possible without the loyal support of riders and passengers and sponsors that have been with us through the years. We’re very thankful for the ongoing enthusiasm our community has for this event.”
Tbaytel has led the way in sponsorship for the event for several years and are a cornerstone in philanthropic support for healthcare in Northwestern Ontario. “We are honoured to continue our support of such a unique and fun event. For 18 years, it has raised awareness and money for such a worthwhile cause,” said Dan Topatigh, Tbaytel president and CEO. “Knowing that the proceeds stay right here in northwestern Ontario to fight prostate cancer means a great deal to Tbaytel and to our neighbourhood.”
Along with supportive sponsors, a large portion of the Ride’s success comes from riders and participants who work tirelessly to raise pledges in advance of the Ride. This year, once again, John Pascuzzo earned the title of top pledge earner, collecting $3,795 in pledges. The total pledges raised this year was $27,298.50, with 18 people raising at least $500. Those who raised over $500 received free registration to next year’s ride.
The funds raised support the Northern Cancer Fund of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. 100% of proceeds remain in our region to fund prostate cancer research, diagnosis and treatment in Northwestern Ontario. Equally as important as the amount raised is the prostate cancer awareness generated by the Tbaytel Motorcycle Ride for Dad, presented by WINMAR.
Together, we are making HOPE possible.