OTTAWA, March 11 /CNW/ - Today marks the start of a strong and growing grassroots national movement of Canadians with a shared passion for motorcycling, prostate cancer awareness and our military families. Motorcycle Ride for Dad launched its 10th anniversary year this morning with the announcement of a cross-Canada tour powered by TELUS, a national fundraising effort, and an appeal to Canadians to join in-by making a donation, participating in the ride, and getting tested.
The 10th anniversary tour will kick-off on Sunday, August 1st in St. John's, Newfoundland with a ceremony hosted by tour co-chairs General Rick Hillier (ret) and Canadian hockey legend Don Cherry, emceed by television and recording star and tour marshal Wayne Rostad, and featuring a host of celebrities.
Over the next six months, the tour will: raise funds for prostate cancer awareness and encourage men to get tested; celebrate the long relationship between the Canadian armed forces, motorcycle clubs, police associations and commercial sponsors; and raise funds this year for the Motorcycle Ride for Dad's fight against prostate cancer and the Military Families Fund's support of Canadian troops and their families. Proceeds of this cross-Canada tour will be shared between the two charities.
The Military Families Fund is a natural partner for Motorcycle Ride for Dad as the organization celebrates 10 years of saving lives in the fight against prostate cancer. Since the beginning, members of Canada's Armed Forces have been enthusiastic and active supporters of The Motorcycle Ride for Dad throughout Canada and instrumental in its success.
TELUS, named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, has a proud history of supporting Canada's military community. Last year alone, TELUS helped raise more than $1 million for the Military Families Fund and also donated $175,000 to Military Family Resource Centres in Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria.
"Helping our Canadian Forces families when extraordinary circumstances arise is a way to recognize and celebrate the contribution our wonderful men and women make serving this great nation in Haiti, in the Middle East and around the world," said 10th anniversary tour co-chair retired General Rick Hillier. "I urge all Canadians to support this wonderful event by coming out when the tour comes to your town, or by sending a donation through the website."
From St. John's Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia, this unique celebration tour will centre around a core of national vanguard riders who will lead motorcycle enthusiasts on the entire journey from coast to coast. Along the way, the vanguard will gather local motorcycle riders, Motorcycle Ride for Dad Chapter members, and military supporters spreading the twin messages of prostate cancer awareness and support for our troops. Thousands of riders will visit community events, and parade into ceremonies at major military bases across the country.
Each of the Tour's seven major stages will feature designated stops at prominent military bases. Stage vanguard riders will augment the national vanguard, and will be joined by local celebrities, media and emergency services, prostate cancer survivors and Military Families Fund members who will be on-hand to tell their stories, as we raise prostate cancer awareness and build support for military families.
"There are 1.2 million men in Canada with prostate cancer, yet 800,000 of them don't know they have it. That simple fact motivates us every day to get the word out," said Garry Janz, president of Motorcycle Ride for Dad. "The Ride links the fun of motorcycling and community mobilization with the very serious business of prostate cancer awareness. Our message is simple-early detection saves lives. Until a cure is found, our fight against prostate cancer will continue to roar down the streets of Canadian cities from coast to coast."
The 10th Anniversary Motorcycle Ride for Dad's Celebration Tour powered by TELUS is a once-in-a-lifetime national event that links the Military Families Fund and Motorcycle Ride for Dad, a grass-roots national movement of people with a shared passion for motorcycling and prostate cancer awareness. The Motorcycle Ride for Dad began in Ottawa as a local ride 10 years ago. Today it takes place in 26 cities across Canada and has raised more than $5 million to fight prostate cancer.
The Military Families Fund was created in April 2007 by General Rick Hillier, the former Chief of Defense Staff to assist military families faced with unforeseen and often immediate needs that have resulted due to conditions of service. The fund continues to grow through the generous contributions of Canadians, corporations and other organizations, adding a new vehicle to support Canadian Forces members and their families.
More information is available at www.ridefordadanniversary.org.
SOURCE TELUS Corporation
For further information: For further information: Heather Chew, Blueprint Public Relations, (613) 237-7400 Ext. 21, cell: (613) 797-8626, firstname.lastname@example.org