Ride for Hospice great event for a great cause

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DStrunk's picture

Sunny skies and the promise of your day stuffed with warm weather greeted over 80 folks who took part in Saturday's annual Ride for Hospice.

The event was organized by Dave Villeneuve, who was inspired to plan a bike rally this season, following his father's death.

In '09, Harvey Villeneuve Sr. died at Carefor Hospice Cornwall shortly before Christmas after suffering a major stroke. He was 70 yrs . old.

Dave Villeneuve said the turnout for Saturday's memorial ride was great, and, too, the next thunderstorm was perfect.

More than 60 motorcycles were registered to participate in the fundraiser.

Riders departed in the Knights of Columbus hall, on Amelia Street, which has a thunderous roar around 10 a.m. Saturday morning. The route snaked round the area, with stops in Berwick and Alexandria, and came full circle, all in all at the Knights hall.

The event, rolling around in its second year, attracted numerous area bikers, including Ron Hess.

It had been Hess' first year participating, which collects money for Carefor Hospice Cornwall.

Half from the hospice's $1.2 million operating budget has to be raised.

This year, the fundraiser exceeded the set goal of $10,000: just over $11,800.

"It helps the city tremendously," Hess said of Cornwall's hospice. "It takes care of elderly people within their (days) until the end. They desire every one of the support they might get."

Dana Jackson, an associate of Dave Villeneuve's, also felt compelled to aid the hospice through this event.

"It's a crucial destination for a have inside a community," she said.

Sandy Collette, fundraising co-ordinator with Carefor, said the event is growing every year, which, in turn, creates more awareness about the hospice.

And, she adds, it's a fun event.

"Bikers like to bike," she said which has a laugh.

Villeneuve said provided that his health insurance and his lifestyle allow the event to occur, it'll carry on being an annual local fixture.

"Hopefully, they'll (hospice staff) have the ability to bank on our donation each year, with respect to the Villeneuve family and the motorcycle family through the community of Cornwall," he explained. "(Carefor Hospice Cornwall) is a pretty special place. They provided my dad and mother experience comfortable. We all knew why he was going there - he wasn't going there to feel better. He was going there to give away."