Brantford’s Bike Night was the first time I’ve worn my winter jacket this year and I’m glad I did!
The show on Thursday was very cold as five of the eight invited non-profits braved the weather. Each one of these places offers something unique, and simply being aware of them helps connect people who can use their help.
Brantford’s Bike Night is all about connecting our community.
This was the last show of the year, and when I asked Erin McCabe-Ferlatte if the monthly event would continue indoors over the winter, she questioned how much a divorce lawyer would be. LOL!
Second Chance Charity Riders, Steve Ferlatte and Erin McCabe-Ferlatte work tirelessly organizing these events. They absolutely love what they do and are looking forward to some down time over the winter, if ‘downtime’ means about a week.
They are continuing their passion of bringing community non-profits together by starting to knock on doors for next years events. It was wonderful to hear from Ferlatte that some non-profits are already asking to come out next season. Next year will showcase new organizations, musicians, entertainers, and of course motorcycles.
There were approximately 75 people on Thursday, and almost everyone was dressed appropriately. There were lots of conversations including the question, ‘are you cold?’ The 11 degree Celsius temperature at 6:00 p.m., dropped to 7 degrees Celsius at 8:30 p.m. Dedicated riders still showed up in their leathers, as well as the three entertainers, and the barbecue was hot and ready.
Meet PATTICAKE! She’s a face painter, and animal balloon artist.
My job is to find out who’s there and inquire about their services, then let you know about them, but a woman dressed as a clown rushed over to me with the biggest smile, a huge balloon mustache, and loudest laughter I’ve heard in a long time.
Before I knew it, I had a balloon ladybug on my wrist! She was fabulous as she entertained the children and adults throughout the night. Patticake AKA, Pat McCabe, the popular children’s entertainer.
Volunteer, Joyce Hutson spoke about children with cancer and how HELP A CHILD SMILE (HACS) supports families immediately after diagnosis, and throughout treatment at McMaster Children’s Hospital.
Having a child with cancer is stressful to say the least. HACS offers children and families dealing with cancer fun events and support services that can create lasting memories. Joyce shared her personal story about her young grand-daughter that had cancer. Unfortunately, Joyce didn’t know about the HACS support program at the time, which could have provided her and her family with special moments before her grand-daughter passed. Joyce wants to make sure other families are aware of HACS, and helping support them is why Joyce volunteers. Everyone at HACS is a volunteer, and all funds raised go directly to programs and families, not cancer research.
Virginia Stewart represented NOVA VITA, a women’s shelter, and counseling center for domestic violence. Virginia is willing to provide an interview about how her life transformed through the assistance of Nova Vita. The staff are incredible as they educate women about what abuse and violence look like. They offer services such as court assistance, paperwork deciphering, lawyer meetings, counseling, child care, and safety plans.
If you believe that domestic violence is a part of your life, contact Nova Vita now.
Personally, I’m a client there too. It’s a long road to recovery because being free from violence and abuse is an education that requires intense support. Nova Vita offers exactly that.
Nicole Callander, also wearing her winter coat, is the director at FRIENDS 4 KINDNESS. They advocate for inclusion and acceptance. She gave an example of a child’s birthday party with no kids attending.
Friends 4 Kindness has found a way to prevent children from being left out; all children matter. I mentioned I didn’t have a birthday party this year as a joke and we all laughed, but seriously, Nicole’s passion to include every child is heartwarming. If your child doesn’t get invited to birthday party’s, or no one attends theirs, contact Friends 4 Kindness and your child will be connected to a new group of amazing friends.
PARKER’S PROJECT: Jen Moerschfelder and Lisa King (both young parents), sat shivering on the curb with their banner as a blanket. This non-profit helps young parents, single or couples, twenty-nine and younger. There are challenges being a young parent such as postpartum depression, finances, proper child care, etc. When the reality of parenthood sets in, these young parents need knowledgeable guidance. Parker’s Project is a resource for solutions, with a community that shares county resources bringing young parents together. They are offering a new peer-to-peer program where experienced adult parents support our younger generation. If you’re missing that feeling of holding a baby because yours are grown up, you could mentor a young parent through Parker’s Project. That’s a wonderful solution for everyone, and new adult mentors are welcome.
I love DEADPOOL…he’s the real deal people! Quoting from the Deadpool movies, sitting on the stage dangling his legs just like the first movie, what a treat to see him. I’m a fan! He was busy all night running around chasing children as they hit him with balloons created by Patticake.
He was everywhere in that bright red suit. He was even found waving at passing cars hoping they would turn around and come into the event, but people only honked their horns as they drove by. Fantastic entertainer and he’s for hire.
There were a group of city councilors including Dave Wrobel who’s currently running for Mayor. Dave has attended every Brantford Bike Night this year. Such a pleasure to see him so I took the opportunity to introduce myself. My point is this; Brantford Bike Night offers amazing opportunities to meet new people in local non-profit organizations. By attending these events you really feel a sense of community and learn how much support is available. There are over fifty non-profits in this city and Brantford’s Bike Night gives them an opportunity to share their unique offerings.
Independent singer/songwriter CHRIS STREI played a variety of original songs from his three albums. Classified as a ‘professional songwriter’ by the Songwriters Association of Canada, he enjoys performing at community events to show his support. Chris’s genre’s include country, folk, rock, and blues. He’s performed all across Canada and it was an honour to listen to him live.
THE GRAND RIVER BLUES SOCIETY (GRBS), set up near the stage naturally, brought the musical sounds of client, and award winning blues artist SPENCER MACKENZIE. GRBS is a non-profit organization that is committed to enhancing the appreciation of the blues music culture, and heritage. They provide fundraising, recording, distribution, and endorse local talent within the Grand River region of South central Ontario. An absolute pleasure listening to him play especially since he traveled from Fort Erie to perform.
2ND GEAR MOTORCYCLE CULTURE & COLLECTIBLES provides almost anything you need as a rider. Meticulous bike cleaning services, clothing, patches, books, helmets, footwear, headgear, jewelry, etc. Need something? Check out their end of season specials.
JEWEL 92FM was there too! Freezing like everyone else lol. They’ve been an active supporter since August when Corey O’Shaughnessy and Melissa Huson of Jewel 92 first met Steve Ferlatte. After Ferlatte gave his pitch about Brantford’s Bike Night, it was clear they would love to participate by spreading awareness through their huge platform. They provide radio advertisements for the event, and share Brantford’s Bike Night posts on their social media channels, as well as attending the past two shows. With support like this, Ferlatte and McCabe-Ferlatte are grateful for the exposure and excited for 2019!
Let’s not forget the most important place of all, THE GUNNER’S CLUB. They supply a multi-functional location, bathrooms, a bar, free coffee, and a place to warm up inside. Brantford’s Bike Night moved locations to the Gunners Club in August and it’s been a win-win for everyone. This community event has substantially increased the Gunners’ Club exposure, and revenue. Not only do they support current serving soldiers and veterans, they honour them in a many special ways. Take a look at the ceiling tiles the next time your downstairs. They represent name of soldiers, and the tiles with poppies included, are the soldiers that have passed. I imagine it’s like being surrounded by your friends. The Gunner’s Club is already a popular location to host events in Brantford, and it’s wonderful that all of these new connections are being made within the community.
The volunteers of 2ND CHANCE CHARITY RIDERS provide the ‘behind the scenes’ work. They set up and tear down tables, provide traffic control and motorcycle parking, cook, sell merchandise, and answer questions which all contribute to a successful event, but that’s not all. Volunteers also set up the stage with lighting and the sound system too. The “heavy lifting,” Ferlatte said. These motorcycle enthusiasts are a dedicated and loving group of people! Support from all angles…and angels.
“Bikers Help Build Stronger Communities,” was proven tenfold tonight. Thank you Ferlatte and McCabe-Ferlatte for all you do!
Photography provided by: Back Of The Room