Lakeland Motorcycle Ride for Dad cruises for a cure

The 300-km route included stops in Bonnyville, Elk Point, St. Paul, La Corey, and Cold Lake, before returning to Alexander Hall. The event was led by RCMP vehicles and aimed to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer research.

Jan Stewart, co-chair of the Lakeland Motorcycle Ride for Dad, expressed his gratitude to participants, stating, "We have over $180,000 raised so far in only eight years, and that's all because of wonderful, good-looking riders like you. Thank you, Lakeland.”

Highlighting advancements in prostate cancer detection, Stewart noted, "A doctor in Edmonton has found a blood test that is 97 per cent more accurate than Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), and it's available to Canadians now."

Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland praised the event, saying, "Either we're all dads or we know a dad. I just want to thank everybody for raising money and getting out. We're just proud to be involved."

National ambassador for Ride for Dad, Jason McCoy, was performing at a show in Bonnyville but made time to address participants at the Lakeland Ride for Dad ceremony.

"I just wanted to say thank you. My dad was a prostate cancer survivor. I started participating in the ride in Ontario 16 years ago. The money here stays in the community. Research is done and shared around Canada and the world."

McCoy emphasized the importance of early detection.

"Get checked in your early 40s. Go in and see your doctor for a PSA test. It is very preventable and treatable. Thank you for spreading the word."

Stewart concluded the send-off with a safety reminder, "For anyone here on their first ride, it's an RCMP escorted ride, and we've been fortunate that everything has been safe. Ride safe and be wary of others."

The top fundraisers for the 2024 Lakeland Motorcycle Ride for Dad are: Peter Lasouski with $2,170, Jonathan Ballard with $1,126, Melvin Hillier with $439, Donna Gauthier with $370, John-Paul Stuebing with $300, and Murray Lalonde with $251.

Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lakeland This Week