Ride organizer feted
Dean Harper’s bag was a little heavier coming home from a trip to Ottawa over the weekend. Heavier, because of the awards adorned on the Rural Alberta Ride for Dad organizer at the fundraising ride’s national summit.
Harper received two individual awards and the Central Alberta ride was feted for bringing in the most in third-party fundraising dollars in 2013.
Events leading up to this year’s ride raised roughly $56,000, with most coming from a hockey game between the Mountain View Colts and Three Hills Thrashers in February that brought in $40,000.
Held in the days following the flooding in Central and Southern Alberta this June, the 2013 iteration of the event drew more than 200 bikers and raised $175,000.
There were some road closures from the flooding that affected the ride’s two rural routes that saw riders pass through about 20 communities — one route started in Red Deer, the other in Drumheller, with Olds as the collective endpoint.
“For how well we did considering the circumstances we had, it’s amazing. I would like to see the Ride for Dad next year have over 300 participants and raise over $200,000, and I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t do that,” said Harper.
At the summit, Harper was also honoured with a Diamond Award for having raised nearly $12,000 personally over the local ride’s five years.
And he became the fifth individual to receive the Ride for Dad President’s Award in the 13 years that rides have taken place nationally, for his time donated and work done in promoting prostate awareness and fundraising.
“It’s one of those really cool pats on the back. This just happens to be the ultimate pat on the back,” said Harper.
Harper said many new ideas were presented at the summit that he is excited to implement next year.
The first Ride for Dad was held in Ottawa in 2000 to raise funds for the fight against prostate cancer. In 2013, there were 39 rides across Canada raising more than $3 million.