By Linda Horn
Rain dampened the amount of money raised but not people’s spirits at the third annual Ride for Hunger in support of the Gleaners food bank.
Ride organizers are blaming weather for The Ride for Hunger falling short of their $15,000 dollar goal this year, only raising close to $3,000.
“Rain scares people, especially bikers, due to safety and liability,” said Sarah Morrow special events co-coordinator for Gleaners food bank.
This years Ride was held Sunday, May 15, in Market Square, Belleville. Braving the wind and cold, 16 bikers registered. Close to $3,000 was raised, along with 60 kilograms of food. All proceeds from the Ride for Hunger go to Gleaners Food bank, to help buy food for those who use the food bank through the summer.
Last year’s ride saw 275 bikes and raised $8000. This year they were expecting 400 bikes and to raise $15,000, said Susanne Quinlan director of operations for Gleaners. Quinlan also said she was staying positive despite the awful weather and was looking for the silver linings for the day.
One of the positives said Quinlan was Quinte Roofing, because they paid for the band, T-shirts, and other promotional items, the ride would make money.
“With these costs covered we’re going to make some money, but its not going to be any $8,000,” said Quinlan.
While the shortage of money raised at this year’s ride is not good for Gleaners, there is another way to help.
Starting May 31 to June 10, Kraft Foods Canada is starting the Kraft Hunger Challenge. Kraft Canada will match dollar for dollar any donations made to any Canadian food bank.
“The public writes cheques to us and Kraft Canada will match dollar for dollar,” said Quinlan.
On the day of the ride Market Square in Belleville was transformed for the day’s events. The morning started off with coffee and treats for the bikers who did attend. There were vendors for bikers and non-bikers to buy from. Tents were set up to keep everyone from getting to wet. People walked around checking out all the different motorcycles. Sponsors donated items for silent auction bidding.
The ride took the bikers for a tour of Prince Edward County. When they returned back to Market Square they enjoyed live music by The Farside and barbeque by Pig out. Due to rain the day was cut short.
John Mclaughlan from Belleville has attended the ride every year and said it keeps getting bigger each year.
“This year is not so busy, but it is a very good cause, a good time out and I look forward to it every year,” said Mclaughlan.
Jack McLaren a Belleville native, but now lives in Milton Ontario, rode in the pouring rain to be at this year’s ride .To honor his mother, Janice McLaren who died this past year from cancer and to support the cause in raising money for Gleaners food bank. Friends and Family of Janice or “Ice” as they called her wore little round black stickers with the word ICE in white lettering on their helmets, to remember her.
“She was a big supporter of this event and I am glad I could make it down for it,” said McLaren.