The communities of Blaine Lake and Hafford came alive June 16 as a “sea of chrome and leather” converged on the two rural communities for the fourth annual Saskatoon Motorcycle Ride for Dad (MRFD) against prostate cancer. Each year the event is held Father’s Day weekend in honour of all men.
Over 550 motorcycle enthusiasts from across Saskatchewan gathered at the Saskatoon Western Development Museum to join in the fight against prostate cancer. Supporters and riders enjoyed a pancake breakfast before heading out on a police escorted parade that led the motorcyclists through downtown Saskatoon and along the river before converging at Lawson Mall.
From there, the riders set out on a poker run that took them north on Highway 12 to the Town of Blaine Lake for the SaskEnergy lunch stop. As the motorcycles, travelling in small groups, descended the hill and crossed the North Saskatchewan River via the Petrofka Bridge, SaskEnergy along with the help of local and community volunteers prepared, cooked and served up over 600 barbecue hamburgers.
Many residents from town and the surrounding area joined the riders for lunch and donated to the cause. A total of $1,530.00 was raised. It was a sight to see as bikes lined Main Street, Blaine Lake. The sunny day contributed to the many smiles seen on both the riders’ and spectator’s faces.
From there the riders headed west on Highway 40 to the town of Hafford where motorcyclists were greeted by the community and the Summer Sizzle committee. The Hafford Summer Sizzle volunteer team sponsored an ice cream stop complete with music provided by Redberry Grass. Nothing better on a sunny day than free ice cream and live music. With most of Main Street blocked off, the bikes lined up side by side along the street, up both sides and down the middle.
Soon it was back to Highway 40 as riders headed west to their final poker stop in North Battleford hosted by the Gold Ridge Centre. Members of the fire department along with local law enforcement were there to greet the riders.
Winner of the highest poker hand went to Ralph Ogden with five aces. Don Sapsford of Perdue was the top pledge earner raising $14,162.15 and earning a Westjet flight for two. David Jessiman of Lucky Lake raised $10,885 placing him in second place. Third place top pledge earner Larry Bleile of Biggar raised $9,177.50. The top team was Team Fury of Saskatoon raising $14,245. The 50/50 winner was Allen Reding of Vanscoy receiving $495.
“The 553 registered riders raised $155,621 in pledges making it the largest motorcycle charity event for prostate cancer in Saskatchewan,” commented Mark Diehl, co-chair for the Saskatoon MRFD.
Organizers and volunteers of the event and within in Blaine Lake and Hafford were overwhelmed and appreciative of the support and attendance.
“Thank you to all,” said Diehl, “by joining the fight you are helping raise awareness to prostate cancer and save men’s lives. You truly are making a difference.”