Canada’s longest-running charity rally kicks off its 2012 schedule this weekend in Nova Scotia. Ride for Sight, which began as a humble community-sized fundraiser, has expanded over the years and is now being held at several locations across Canada. To date, the annual event that is entering its 34th year has raised over $19 million dollars for the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB).
The FFB is Canada’s largest registered charity for sight-saving research and contributes funds to support the research of retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and other related retinal eye diseases. The FFB relies on its signature events to raise the money required for its research, events such as Comic Vision, Cycle for Sight, Ride for Sight, and Vision Quest.
“Ride for Sight is more than just a weekend celebration,” commented Ride for Sight Director, Debbie Dixon. “It has become an annual tradition for friends and families across Canada and people are excited by the chance to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones.”
Six Ride for Sight celebrations are scheduled to take place this summer. The nation-wide fundraiser starts this weekend in Nova Scotia (June 9), with subsequent events planned for Orillia, Ontario (June 15-17), Gander, Newfoundland (June 22-24), Morley, Alberta (June 22-23), Inuvik, Northwest Territories (June 24), and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (June 29-July 1).
The thousands of Ride for Sight participants expected for the Central Ontario rally should be advised that the starting location for its opening parade ride has been changed for 2012 to Lakehead University on June 16 at 10:00 am. Canada’s largest charity motorcycle parade will ride to Lake Couchiching where free camping, live music (featuring The Blushing Brides, the world’s most dangerous tribute to The Rolling Stones), motorcycle vendors, and games will be available.
“Ride for Sight has become one of the highlights of my family’s calendar,” said 17-year-old Meghan Vanderyt. This year will mark her 7th year as a Ride for Sight attendee; Vanderyt, one of the event’s top fundraisers, is affected by retinitis pigmentosa, a blinding eye disease that often starts during childhood. “My dad made it a point to get his motorcycle license just so he can ride in the parade. My mom just got her motorcycle license last fall so she can ride too. The riders have shown amazing support for me and other kids with retinal diseases, and my family is glad to be a part of this community.”
As the rally’s organisers like to remind everyone, “Ride for those who cannot – participate in your local Ride for Sight because you can.” Ride to www.rideforsight.com or call 1-800-461-3331 for details on how you can participate in a 2012 Ride for Sight rally near you.