It’s for the kids! And you may have heard over 200 bikers roar through Brant with a police escort on Saturday. All to help the kids.
These bikers told me their hearts were warm despite the frigid wind and occasional puddles dodged…
Over 2000 children are served by Lansdowne Children’s Centre each year and so many people make this happen: from staff to administration; parents an grandparents; caregivers and neighbours. There is another group who step up to the plate, donors. Whether it is philanthropic folks from the community, sponsors or a cast of hundreds of motorcyclist enthusiasts, they are equally focused to make a difference. One of the former group is Bob Caissie, owner of 24 Culligan Water franchises across Canada, and a Brantfordian. He and his wife Janice made a decision over thirty years ago when he was starting out in his marriage to give back for the exemplary care the Ontario system gave in their own lives with their own children. And it seems to never end. The Lansdowne Charity Motorcycle Ride is his vision and has brought thousands of bikers into the fold supporting Lansdowne. Over the past 13 years it is estimated this single event has brought in over $400 thousand and this year is no exception with another $50,000 announced on May 12th designated to the Every Kid Counts program. Bob has confided that he intends to exceed that next year as a personal objective. His other fundraiser that has benefited Lansdowne is The Great Northern Ride whereby hundreds of snow-mobilers have participated in trips across the trails raising money to the tune of $2.5 million. Bob and Janice want to exceed over $3 million total for both events by this time next year. He knows it takes the work and donations of many so he gives recognition to the many participants.
One of these angels for the kids is George Nevens. At 73 years, George has 29 grandchildren, 2 great-grandkids and two more ‘on the way’. Children mean a lot to him and he was struck with one particular young lady, Avery, who is helped by Lansdowne. He sees her at least once a week and is smitten by her positive attitude, and willingness to overcome adversity. Bob is a relatively new biker but immediately took ownership of the fundraising challenge. Everyone he met was approached to help and over the past five years alone has raised over $35 thousand. He was named the recipient of ‘The Bob Caissie Award’ for his ongoing dedication last year. This year George continues to excel and has raised $7500 for the Lansdowne Charity Motorcycle Ride.
George and Avery
Even Batman is there for Avery and Mom Michelle
The many sponsors were recognized on the banner on the entertainment stage.
Strodes BBQ provided the riders with breakfast and lunch.