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Now Brinks donates a truck. Last year in Ottawa, they raised $375,000. “We started to attract some really

talented people,” says Smith. “People like Dave O’Malley.” Janz explains: “Two years into The Ride, I

got a call from the president of Aerographics [Creative Services in Ottawa]. “‘You don’t know me,’ the guy

said, ‘but I’ve been watching you. I like what you’re doing, and I would like to donate my graphic talents for as long as you’d like me to.’ That guy was Dave O’Malley, and he has created our whole look.” The “look” includes the

distinctive Motorcycle Ride For Dad logo.

Others became involved. Scotia

Bank said they’d handle the money. WalMart welcomed a table inside the front door. The Ottawa Citizen became a huge supporter. Other media giants like CTV and CFRA got into the act. Broadcaster Max Keeping was presented with a Motorcycle Ride For Dad vest on air. The Ride also had the advantage

of people who had gone before them to raise money for a sensitive issue. “We learned a lot from women,”

Janz says. “They’re at least 20 years ahead of us in raising money for [breast] cancer. Men have a lot to


gain from the way they’ve done it.” He says he can remember a time

when women wouldn’t openly speak about breast cancer. “Men still don’t want to talk

about prostate cancer,” he says. “But there’s no reason why a dozen men die from prostate cancer a day in Canada. There’s better than a 90 per cent success rate, but when men won’t talk about it, when they won’t go and get it checked, they can die. Over a million men in Canada have prostate cancer, and more than 80 per cent don’t know they have it yet.” The logistics and organization of

the Motorcycle Ride For Dad in so many cities is the result of a template. It’s the same in every chapter across Canada. There are nearly 300 people sitting on executive “Ride” councils across the country, four full-time staff, and a powerful contingent of about 3,000 volunteers planning and implementing the Rides each year The Motorcycle Ride For

Dad is still associated with police associations, and police escort the parades through cities. Following the parade, the riders break up and go onto the highways to do a “poker run” for about 180 to 250 km. Halfway through they stop for a barbecue lunch. Even when the weather is bad and the Ride is cut short or even cancelled for safety, the money, raised through pledges, comes through anyway. The

money is distributed back into the communities where it was raised and goes to local prostate cancer research and or awareness. The weather has to be pretty

bad to keep Byron Smith away. He remembers being in Ottawa at the beginning of the Ride one year. It was raining. And raining. And raining. Smith got soaked to the bone. As Ride Captain, he couldn’t

just stop. He had much further to go. But first he had to change out of his soaking-wet clothes. He decided to run into a local

WalMart. He brought a couple of friends along with him. He chose a pair of jeans and sent his friends to pay for them. Meanwhile, Smith went into the men’s washroom to strip off his wet pants. You have to picture the

size of this guy. He’s big. He’s tough-looking. He’s no skinny- scrawny sprinter. Getting out of wet motorcycle clothes was not something that came easily. He did everything to get them off. He tripped, stumbled, and ended

up flat out on the floor, pants half on and half off. Unsuspecting customers entered the bathroom to this odd sight. “I guess it was pretty scary,

seeing a 280-pound guy rolling around on the floor,” he says.

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