Distress Centres in Greater Toronto Area celebrates a successful B.A.D Ride

TORONTO, May 28, 2013 /CNW/ - On Sunday May 26th, over 1,000 motorcycle enthusiasts came together to raise funds for Distress Centres, Canada's oldest crisis line. Distress Centers is the first organization in Canada to develop a 24-hour crisis response and suicide prevention helpline. Our singular mission and mandate is to create an emotional safety net for the vulnerable and at-risk in our community.

Every year, the organization hosts a unique, award-winning, one-day motorcycle fundraising event - B.A.D Ride (Bikers Against Despair) and offers the community a chance to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable citizens in the City of Toronto.

"We were glad so many riders took us up on our request to ride like a life depends on it" says Karen Letofsky, Executive Director of Distress Centres. "Their support will enable us to deliver on our commitment to the community".

This year the event marked the 16th Anniversary of the Ride and took place on May 26th. About 1,000 motorcycles and more than 1,200 riders and their passengers traversed a three-hour scenic ride east across the Ontario countryside to the Markham Fair Grounds; where celebrities and supporters came together to enjoy the day and to recognize the work of this pioneering agency.

Almost $200,000 was raised in support of Distress Centres thanks to supporters of the event.

Events included:

  • After-ride party at the Markham Fairgrounds

  • Celebrity endorsers including Darcy Tucker Toronto Maple Leafs Alumnus; Andy Frost from Q107; comedian Mike Bullard; Reality TV Star Jane Dayus-Hinch; and celebrity chef Marc Thuet.

  • Grand Prize Draw for 2013 Harley-Davidson® Heritage Softail Classic.

Since its founding in 1967, Distress Centres is dedicated to providing 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention support to the City of Toronto. Last year, our trained volunteers received over 120,000 calls; 60% of calls came through after-hours, when most agencies are closed. In addition, with our partners Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and Bell, Distress Centres launched Crisis Link - the world's first suicide prevention program in the subway system.

100% of the funds raised by participants in the 2013 B.A.D Ride will be used towards the operations of life-sustaining programs.  The event is the agency's largest annual community outreach event, creating both significant awareness and providing a financial lifeline.

Be our lifeline….. so we can be a lifeline for others!

Image with caption: "Darcy Tucker at the B.A.D Ride registration site (CNW Group/Distress Centres)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130528_C2859_PHOTO_EN_27190.jpg

SOURCE: Distress Centres

For further information:

Karen Letofsky, Executive Director
Distress Centres
Tel: (416) 598-0168
E-mail: Karen@torontodistresscentres.com

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