Motorcyclists roll-up ready to help
SUDBURY -- It wasn't the crowd that was originally supposed to be in Sudbury this year, but over a dozen bikers from across Ontario still came out to make a donation to the Infant Food Bank.
The annual bike rally, which was expected to draw in around 300 bikers, was postponed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn't stop bikers from 67 chapters across Canada from still finding a way to give back.
"The money came from donations from our members," said First Officer Mike McDonald from the 049 Sudbury Chapter.
"Every year for the last 14 years we have a rally, our club rally, in different locations across Canada basically. The money was donated back, as we know everything was cancelled, so they were nice enough to say 'keep the money, give it to the charity of choice.'"
McDonald says 77 members out of 300 donated their registration money and t-shirt money after the event was cancelled this year and as a result, a cheque for over $6,000 was dropped off on Saturday morning.
"It was a very generous donation [Saturday]," said Assistant Director Cherie Bonhomme for the Infant Food Bank.
"We're super excited about it and it means a lot to our centre and all the families we serve."
Bonhomme adds, "a big donation like this definitely helps us to keep our shelves stocked and especially in this unforeseen time with COVID, we're seeing more families in need. The government money that has been provided, CERB, has been helping out families but once that money is no longer available to them, we're assuming, we're forecasting, that we're going to see a lot more families coming in need."
The Infant Food Bank helps between 600-900 families per year and Bonhomme says this donation will help buy the most in demand items like diapers and baby formula.
Bikers from the Sudbury Chapter were not the only ones to show up Saturday morning. Over a dozen riders from across Ontario came to help present the big cheque.
"We planned to come up this weekend regardless and we wanted to support this cause because it's such a great cause what they're doing here," said Lee Miller from the 007 Hamilton Chapter.
"With everything that's going on with COVID, we thought there is so much turmoil going on the world, what's a little bit of money out of our pockets anyways to give back?"
For all the members who were there Saturday morning donating this money despite the cancelled rally was a no brainer.
"It wasn't surprising at all, considering a lot of people come together for this reason," said Maxwell Jamison from the 028 London Chapter.
"Whenever we're not on our bikes we're always donating or helping out some sort of charity, so it wasn't surprising at all to see the big hearts of people."
The plan is for the rally to be held in Sudbury in 2021 after the cancellation this year, but for 2020 members were just happy to still help out a good cause.
"That is the best cause I can think of, anything to do with kids, helps out kids, gives them a good start in life," said Miller.
"Because you know what, growing up we all had that opportunity to have a good start in life and I don't think it's fair that some of those kids don't get that same chance. So to me, this is the perfect cause to support."